Hong Kong police have smashed a syndicate that had been smuggling Bangladeshi workers illegally into the city over the past year.
Fourteen people aged between 25 and 54 were arrested in a joint operation with the Immigration Department Tuesday, Apple Daily reported.
Six of the detainees were Hongkongers, with five of them suspected of employing the illegal workers. The rest included five Bangladeshis, two Pakistanis and one Indian.
The suspects were accused of offenses of aiding and abetting illegal immigrants, money laundry, employing illegal workers and breaching conditions of stay.
According to the police, the syndicate was run by a 25-year-old Hong Kong woman surnamed Chiu and her 45-year-old Bangladeshi husband.
The husband, identified by his surname Rahman, is said to have illegally entered Hong Kong in 2006 and got into a bogus marriage with Chiu so that they could profit from human smuggling.
Police investigations revealed they had arranged for more than one thousand Bangladeshi workers to enter Hong Kong since mid-2014.
Investigators found that the couple had bank deposits totaling HK$2.2 million (US$283,785) and also owned a large amount of gold and jewelry.
They allegedly charged each illegal worker as much as HK$50,000. The migrants were initially taken to Guangzhou and Kunming before being transported to Shenzhen and smuggled into Hong Kong through speedboats, according to the police.
The speedboats used to land the illegal immigrants on Lamma Island or Lantau.
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