Possessing False Visas in Hong Kong - Seven Chinese Mainland Visitors Jailed

Possessing False Visas in Hong Kong - Seven Chinese Mainland Visitors Jailed

    A group of seven visitors from Chinese mainland were jailed by the Sha Tin Magistrates' Court in June and August for holding forged Brazilian visas, a spokesman for Immigration Department of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said Thursday.

    The seven visitors aged from 17 to 35, were each charged with one count of possessing a false instrument. They all pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three months to 22 weeks.

    On May 31 and June 1, the seven defendants were intercepted by Immigration officers after they were deported from Brazil via Paris for holding suspected forged Brazilian visas in their PRC passports. Those Brazilian visas, which bore the name of the defendants, were later confirmed to be forged through forensic examination.

    Under caution, the defendants claimed that they did not know each other and only intended to visit the Dominican Republic. They also denied knowledge that the visas were false. However, investigation showed that most of them arrived in Hong Kong at around the same time on May 27 at Lok Ma Chau control point. The forged visas in their passports were printed with their names and the dates of issue preceded their trips.

    Under the laws of Hong Kong, anyone who has in his custody a false instrument commits an offense and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for 14 years.

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