Immigration probe unearths dozens of undocumented children

September 17, 2015 12:41
The Immigration Department launched a crackdown on undocumented individuals after the April suicide of  teenager Blanca Cousins who was later found to have no registration papers. Photo: Internet

Immigration authorities have discovered 55 undocumented children including three born to an Indonesian woman and her Hong Kong husband.

The children, now in their teens, live with their parents in a public housing estate in the New Territories.

Officials released the findings after completing an investigation into 10 cases of suspected undocumented individuals.

A dozen people have been arrested, according to Apple Daily.

The investigation was triggered by the April suicide of teenager Blanca Cousins who jumped to her death from a bathroom of the family home in upscale Repulse Bay.

The 15-year-old elder daughter of a British insurance executive and his Filipino wife was later found to have no registration papers.    

Investigators compared hospital records and government birth registrations from 1997 and found at least 55 undocumented residents.

The three Indonesian children aged 17, 18 and 19, never went to school and mostly get their education on the internet, officials said.

They seldom leave home and take generic drugs rather than a doctor's prescription when sick.

The father was arrested for violation of the Births and Deaths Registration Ordinance. His wife has been charged with overstaying.

Meanwhile, an unregistered eight-year-old girl, whose parents are permanent Hong Kong residents, is the subject of a separate inquiry by the Social Welfare Department.

She is cared for by her grandmother and has not attended school.

The father is rarely in Hong Kong and the mother juggles several jobs to make ends meet.

She said she has been too busy with her work to go through the registration process for her daughter.

In another case, a Filipino domestic helper couple were arrested over their undocumented four-year-old son.

The Births and Deaths Registration Ordinance requires a child to be registered within 42 days of birth.

Parents who fail to comply face six months' imprisonment and a fine of up to HK$2,000 (US$258).

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