Date
23 July 2017
Illegal immigrants and suspected human traffickers wait to be processed by the police. The crackdown followed a sharp rise in illegal asylum seekers in Hong Kong. Photo: baidu.com
Illegal immigrants and suspected human traffickers wait to be processed by the police. The crackdown followed a sharp rise in illegal asylum seekers in Hong Kong. Photo: baidu.com

Thousands arrested in swoop on illegal immigrants, snakeheads

Nearly 3,000 illegal immigrants and more than 100 suspected traffickers have been arrested on both sides of the border since January.

The arrests followed a sharp increase in fake asylum seekers, mostly from Southeast Asia and South Asia, Sing Tao Daily reports.

The suspects — 2,860 from Southeast Asia and 83 from South Asia — were arrested in a joint operation by the Hong Kong police and China’s public security bureau.

Mainland authorities rounded up 142 suspected traffickers, including 29 from Southeast Asia, while Hong Kong police intercepted 94 illegal immigrants.

In all, three major human smuggling syndicates known as snakeheads have been busted since the crackdown began in February.

It will continue until July next year.

One trafficking route operated by a Vietnamese syndicate was shut down earlier this month.

It was used to smuggle illegal immigrants into Hong Kong through Guangxi and Guangdong provinces.

Guangdong police and their Hong Kong counterparts smashed the notorious “Little Tiger” syndicate headed by a South Asian resident of Hong Kong.

The syndicates were well organized and operated with professional efficiency, a police source said. 

They ran smuggling routes from Shenzhen to Yuen Long, Lau Fau Shan, Tuen Mun and Sai Kung.

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TL/AC/RA

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