Hong Kong marine police arrested five illegal immigrants from Vietnam, including a one-year-old girl, aboard a motorized boat off Sai Kung on Tuesday morning.
Two suspected mainland human smugglers were also arrested, Sing Tao Daily reports.
The arrests came at 10 a.m. after a marine patrol spotted a suspicious boat in the waters near Fan Tsang Chau.
As the police vessel approached, the boat sped off. After a chase that lasted about three minutes, the driver of the boat jumped into the sea.
A police officer jumped onto the boat and took control. The boat driver was later rescued from the water.
The boat was carrying five people from Vietnam, including a man, three women and a baby. They paid a human trafficking syndicate an undetermined amount to help them illegally enter Hong Kong.
They were all charged with illegal entry. The woman and the baby were sent to hospital.
Another man on the boat and the driver who abandoned it, aged 27 and 21, were mainlanders working for the syndicate, police said.
The two were charged with illegal entry, assisting and abetting illegal entry, endangering other people’s safety at sea and refusing to stop for police.
A leader of the Police Small Boat Division said the illegal immigrants were at risk because there was no life-saving equipment on the boat, according to news website hk01.com.
A total of 296 illegal immigrants were arrested in the first four months of the year, according to police data.
About 60 percent came from Vietnam and the rest were Indians and Pakistanis, all trying to enter Hong Kong via the mainland.
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