HONG KONG: A woman from mainland China was jailed last month for lying about her pregnancy status when entering Hong Kong, said the Hong Kong government in a statement on its website on Monday (Dec 2).
The woman, 34, had pleaded guilty to one charge of making false representation to an immigration officer and sentenced to 14 months' jail at the Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts on Nov 27.
According to the statement, the woman had arrived in Hong Kong via Lo Wu Control Point as a visitor before heading to an Accident and Emergency Department to deliver her child, without prior booking.
An investigation revealed that when she arrived at customs, an immigration officer had asked the woman about her pregnancy status and she claimed that she was not pregnant.
According to the South China Morning Post, about 800 non-Hong Kong mothers gave birth in the city in 2015 despite a 2013 ban that prevents them from reserving hospital beds for delivery.
"Under the laws of Hong Kong, any person who makes false representation to an immigration officer commits an offence," said an Immigration Department spokesman.
"Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, subject to the maximum penalty of a fine of HK$150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years."