8 food delivery riders arrested for alleged illegal work

 

One of the arrested riders is taken away, along with his bike

Eight food delivery couriers
were among 11 people arrested in a series of anti-illegal work operations carried
out by Immigration and Labour task force officers for three consecutive days starting
on Monday until earlier today, Wednesday.

An Immigration press
release did not provide details about the riders, said to be aged between 20
and 45, but some news reports said five of them are Bangladeshis and three are
Indians. All are non-refoulement claimants which prohibit them from taking up
work, paid or unpaid, in Hong Kong.

In addition, three of
them were suspected of using electric bikes for deliveries, which is in
violation of traffic regulations. Immigration said it will refer the cases to
relevant authorities for further investigation.

Also arrested were three
local residents, one man and two women aged 19 to 45, who are suspected of
selling or renting out their food delivery courier accounts to the illegal
workers.

They were arrested on
suspicion of conspiracy to defraud delivery platforms and of aiding and
abetting the illegal workers.

Investigations
reportedly revealed that the three suspected abettors had been renting out their
courier accounts for up to nine months, at around $3,000 per month.

One of the 3 residents who allegedly rented out their courier accounts to the riders

Immigration said that
while delivery platforms require deliverymen to register using their Hong Kong identity
cars, the verification process has not been strict enough.

Since January this year
Immigration has arrested 13 illegal workers in the delivery sector, all of them
South Asian, as a result of multiple enforcement actions.

As a result, government
enforcers urged three delivery platforms to strengthen identity verification
measures by adopting facial recognition systems and multi-factor
authentication.

Immigration warned that anyone found working illegally can be
fined up to $50,000 and jailed a maximum of two years. The jail term rises to
three years if the offender is an illegal immigrant, is subject to a removal or
deportation order, or an overstayer.

Aiders and abettors are also liable to arrest and
prosecution.
 

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