Three people, including two customs officers, denied charges that they conspired in a sham marriage to help a mainland woman enter and stay in Hong Kong.
Lee Hon-wah, 53, head of the Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau of the Customs and Excise Department; Lam Yui-keung, 46, acting chief customs officer; and Tong Xiaohong, a 32-year-old mainland woman, all pleaded not guilty to one joint count of conspiracy to defraud before the Fanling magistrates’ court, Ming Pao Daily reported.
The court heard that between Jan. 1, 2013 and Nov. 14, 2014, the trio conspired to defraud immigration officers by having Tong and a man identified only as Liu married in Hong Kong on March 4, 2013.
Lee, who was married 30 years ago, was said to have developed an affair with Tong in Shenzhen in 2002. Tong was also married to a Hong Kong citizen at the time.
Tong gave birth to a daughter with Lee in 2007, and Tong divorced her husband in 2011.
It was alleged that Lam contacted a friend surnamed Liu, offering him HK$30,000 to participate in a fake marriage in order to help a mainland Chinese mother and her daughter to live in Hong Kong.
It is understood that Liu has turned witness for the Independent Commission Against Corruption in the case.
Lam, Liu and Tong met for the first time on March 4, 2013, while Liu and Tong registered as a married couple on the same day at a solicitor’s firm, with Lam serving as the witness.
In July 2013, Lee drove both Tong and Liu to Union Hospital in Sha Tin for pre-natal medical check-up and scheduled a delivery service.
On Dec. 15, Tong gave birth to a baby girl at the hospital. She was accompanied by a man identified as Lee Hon-ming, the same name as Lee’s elder brother.
Liu was requested to register as the father, and the baby was named Liu Ka-yee.
By early September 2014, Tong’s elder daughter Lee Ching-yee was granted a one-way permit by the Immigration Department to reside and study in Hong Kong.
Lee arranged for Tong and her two daughters to live in a rented flat at Sea Crest Villa in Sham Tseng.
The prosecution said Lee took a leave during most of the days that Tong went for pre-natal check-ups at the hospital.
The hospital charges paid by Tong were of the same amounts that Lee withdrew from ATMs in the hospital.
The trial was to continue on Wednesday.
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