HONG KONG: Illegal immigrants from India and Pakistan are being smuggled into this territory inside suitcases by a syndicate operating in China, it was reported here yesterday.
The immigrants were reportedly wheeled across the Lowu border crossing from Shenzhen after paying between US$250 (RM950) and US$300 (RM1,140), the South China Morning Post reported, citing unidentified sources.
The crossings were usually made at peak times when there were large crowds and Customs officers were less likely to check luggage.
The syndicate is known in Indian and Pakistani communities in this territory as Mukha Airlines, after the man who has been running it out of Shenzhen since mid-2001.
The Post report said a pool of 'pilots' were on duty at the border to wheel across the human cargo, and were paid HK$500 (RM243) for each trip.
Mukha, an Indian national, is understood to be in his late 20s. The territory's Immigration Department has not confirmed the report.
But the operation was temporarily suspended after a court here jailed a Pakistani national for 18 months for trying to illegally enter the territory in a suitcase.
The court heard that Raja Kamran, 24, was found curled up inside a 54cm by 80cm suitcase which Indian national Pardeep Singh had tried to carry across the border from Shenzhen. AFP