There will be no peace for parallel-goods traders in the New Territories.
That's the pledge from Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor following a mass arrest of suspects.
"The clampdown on parallel traders will continue in a random manner," Lam said yesterday.
Her remarks came a day after a high-profile joint operation by immigration and police officers in Sheung Shui where more than 130 mainland visitors were arrested on suspicion of having violated their conditions of stay.
"We target the structurally organized parallel-goods trade at the source. We are implementing policies to support our words with tangible actions," Lam said.
She believes the crackdown has broken the supply chain of one trading ring.
The arrest of workers, aged 22 to 60, took place at the Advanced Technology Centre, a 10-minute walk from the MTR station.
Most of them had two-way permits while 50 who held multiple-entry permits were assumed to be Shenzhen residents.
The identities of mainlanders convicted of working illegally will be passed to authorities across the border so that they nay be barred from entering Hong Kong for a maximum period of two years.
Police and officers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department also carried out checks of suspicious-looking types while MTR staff examined passengers who carried heavy luggage before allowing them into the station.
The measures appear to have worked because the packing of boxes at the technology center had ceased by yesterday.
However, hundreds of suspected parallel-goods traders were seen packing boxes near Fan Ling MTR station yesterday.
Police officers arrived to halt the activity within half an hour.
Sheung Shui residents accuse the parallel-goods traders of pushing up prices and congesting streets and MTR trains.