Government to use targeted strategies to combat illegal immigration

Secretary for Security, Mr Wong Sio Chak, meets the press.

The Government will use targeted strategies and strengthen cooperation with neighbouring Guangdong Province, in an effort to combat illegal immigration to Macao and to maintain public safety in the city, the Secretary for Security, Mr Wong Sio Chak, said today. Mr Wong spoke to reporters this morning after making an inspection visit – along with representatives of police departments – to the mainland-Macao boundary near the University of Macau and at the Long Chao Kok coastal boundary in southern Coloane. The Secretary said the Government was highly concerned about detected increases in violations of immigration rules, especially when these activities involved organisation and concealed movement. Mr Wong disclosed 1,810 illegal immigrants were caught in the first nine months of this year, contributing to a 64 percent increase in such detections compared to the corresponding period last year. The figure includes illegal immigrants detected by the Macao Customs Service, by the Judiciary Police, by the Labour Affairs Bureau and by other departments. The Government has taken a number of measures to prevent and detect unlawful entry to Macao. They include heightening the fence at the portion of the Macao-Zhuhai boundary located at the University of Macau on Hengqin Island, and the implementation of a mechanism for communication and action between the Macao Customs Service and Public Security Police Force, he said. With assistance from the mainland authorities and the full cooperation of the University, the number of illegal immigrants intercepted at that fence in the first eight months of this year was limited to six, compared to 51 caught last year. Long Chao Kok, a boundary area where half of all the smugglers intercepted this year were caught, posed certain difficulties for the police in performing their duties effectively, due to its coastal location, Mr Wong said. But the police would step up efforts to tackle such unlawful acts by using more advanced technology, including the planned installation of electronic devices in the area, he said. Reporters asked Mr Wong during his inspection visit about a Macao resident detained in the United States of America. Mr Wong said Macao’s security authorities had no information and no comment on the issue, noting U.S. legal proceedings were active. The case was being handled outside Macao, and was outside the Government’s jurisdictional control, he added.

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