Deported thief slips into Hong Kong 40 times: report

2011-12-17 07:56

A woman barred from entering Hong Kong for life over serial shoplifting evaded security checks and slipped into the city more than 40 times in two years.

The 49-year-old woman, Chao Sam-i, a cleaner from neighbouring Macau, was deported from Hong Kong and received a lifetime expulsion order in 2004 after she committed a series of thefts, according to the South China Morning Post.

She visited the city in 2009 again to attend her daughter’s wedding without a hitch, and has since returned to the city dozens of times, the report said.

The security woes came to light after the woman was arrested in August for stealing 12 bottles of perfume worth HK$4 000 (about R4 300) in Hong Kong.

“This is unsatisfactory,” high court deputy judge Albert Wong wrote in a judgment handed down on Friday after an appeal hearing, according to the Post. He ordered Chao to spend 20 months and 20 days in jail for theft and breaching the deportation order.

“It seems to me that the immigration officers may not have sufficient information to enable them to stop deportees from entering Hong Kong,” he said.

He urged the government to plug loopholes in the system.

A spokesperson from the immigration department told AFP that the department would investigate whether the woman used forged identity papers to enter Hong Kong illegally.

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