Another 13 South Asian men have been arrested in the past nine days after illegally arriving on Lantau by boat.
Six Indian and Bangladeshi nationals arrived at Fan Lau in south-west Lantau early Saturday morning. After being arrested they said they would apply for asylum under the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT), the Oriental Daily News said.
Police received a report at 10am and went to the scene, where they intercepted the six, who had arrived by boat earlier that day. They were aged between 20 and 59. As with earlier illegal arrivals, they had flown legally to Guangzhou, where a snakehead had arranged to transport them to Shenzhen and then to Fan Lau by boat.Another seven were detained at the Tai O bus station on January 23, the paper said, without providing details.
The latest arrests take the total to 28 the number of South Asian migrants caught trying to enter Hong Kong via Lantau this year. Altogether police arrested 105 across Hong Kong in January, mostly in Tseung Kwan O, Sai Kung and the northeast New Territories.
Pro-Beijing legislator and Islands District Councillor Tang Ka-piu called on the government to improve “communication mechanisms with mainland border cities for early interception.” He also said Hong Kong should “copy the EU practice” and immediately repatriate the illegal arrivals.
It is not clear which EU policies Tang was referring to. German officials are reportedly considering the return of Afghan refugees, who they consider to be economic migrants, but no EU country has a policy of repatriation.