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Travel-Nature

Published on March 26, 2008

Author: Natalia

Source: authorstream.com

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Countering Corruption to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings - The Hong Kong Experience:  Countering Corruption to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings - The Hong Kong Experience Kenny TSO Acting Assistant Director of Operations Independent Commission Against Corruption Hong Kong Introduction:  Introduction Case studies Success and Failure Enforcement action Prosecution Difficulties encountered Lessons to learn Conclusion The Success - Operation “White Cloud”:  The Success - Operation “White Cloud” Background Oct. 1988, allegation against airline staff in accepting bribe to assist in smuggling citizens from the Chinese Mainland (PRC) to overseas countries Modus Operandi:  Modus Operandi PRC citizen visited Hong Kong on a 2-way permit Photo-substituted Taiwanese passport with genuine Canadian visa PRC citizen using the Taiwanese passport to leave Hong Kong, before the expiry of the 2-way permit ... Modus Operandi:  Using the Taiwanese passport to check in at the down town airline counter, departing for Japan, a stop over for final destination Using the 2-way permit to check in at the Hong Kong International Airport for returning home Modus Operandi ... Modus Operandi:  Used the 2-way permit to go through immigration clearance Changed dress code Used the Taiwanese passport to board the flight for Japan Accompanied by an escort throughout the process Fee charged US$26,000 per person Modus Operandi Overt Action:  Overt Action Arrest action – The smuggled person and his escort were arrested when they were about to board the plane for Japan The syndicate head, his Taiwanese girl friend, another escort and 2 PRC citizens were also arrested Forged immigration stamps, passports were seized Criminal Prosecutions:  Criminal Prosecutions 7 defendants pleaded “Guilty” to Conspiracy to possess false instrument with intent Possession of a false instrument with intent Sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from 3 years and 9 months to 10 months Difficulties Encountered :  Difficulties Encountered All suspects outside jurisdiction Identification problem Heavy reliance on intelligence and surveillance Change of dress code and appearance of the smuggled person Fighting against time – 48 hours detention before release or charging The Failure - Operations “Chino”:  The Failure - Operations “Chino” Background A Senior Immigration Assistant was alleged to have accepted bribes in assisting a human smuggling syndicate in its criminal activities The Immigration Officer was posted to the border with the Chinese Mainland responsible for immigration clearance of visitors The head of the syndicate was a merchant, who was assisted by his PRC girl friend Modus Operandi:  A Package Deal A PRC passport with a tourist visa to an Asian country A forged Dominican Republic passport with a ‘departure’ stamp from that country An air ticket with escort service Fees – US$13,000 – 38,000 depending on final destination Modus Operandi ... Modus Operandi:  PRC citizen travelled to Hong Kong with a PRC passport in transit for another Asian country A 7-day stay in Hong Kong is allowed Forged Dominican passport with a ‘departure’ stamp issued to the smuggled person Used the PRC passport for onward travel to the destination in Asia Modus Operandi ... Modus Operandi:  Upon arrival, used the Dominican passport claiming to be Dominican citizen for immigration clearance Then used this passport to travel extensively – to give it a ‘genuine’ look The Immigration Officer assisted in the immigration clearance of the smuggled persons Modus Operandi ... Modus Operandi:  Stamped on their passport retrospectively, if the smuggled persons entered into Hong Kong unlawfully Assisted the smuggled persons in their application for extension of stay in Hong Kong Fees charged to the syndicate US$650 and later increased to US$3,800 Modus Operandi Overt Action:  Overt Action The head of syndicate, his girl friend and the Immigration Officer were arrested The girl friend of the syndicate head absconded whilst on bail The Immigration Officer remained silent when interviewed by ICAC officers Criminal Prosecution:  Criminal Prosecution On the sole evidence of the syndicate head, the Immigration Officer was charged with bribery, forgery and one other offences He was acquitted of all bribery and forgery charges Reasons for Acquittal:  Reasons for Acquittal Poor performance of the syndicate head Lack of corroborative evidence Credibility of syndicate head in serious doubt Difficulties Encountered:  Difficulties Encountered Tainted witness without corroborative evidence Impossible to trace smuggled persons Other clients who purchased passports refused to testify in Hong Kong Girl friend of syndicate head fled to Sri Lanka, whilst on bail Lessons to Learn:  Lessons to Learn Lack of ammunition to ensure witness to come up to proof Try every possible means to obtain corroborative evidence early No blanket immunity Identify potential cooperative accomplice before overt action ... Lessons to Learn:  Maintain regular contact with accomplice witness before trial Proper refreshing memory of the witness before trial Reactive vs. Proactive investigation Use of undercover agents (U/Cs) Pros and cons in deployment of UCs Lessons to Learn Conclusion:  Conclusion Successful investigation means Hard work Solid investigation Meticulous planning Persistence Conviction in one’s work Perseverance Effective anti-corruption work leads to good governance and well being of a civil society.:  Effective anti-corruption work leads to good governance and well being of a civil society. Thank you:  Thank you kwytso@ops.icac.org.hk www.icac.org.hk

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