HONG KONG: Immigration officers are trying to nab ballroom dancing instructors from the mainland and eastern Europe who are earning up to HK$1,500 (RM738) an hour as private escorts for wealthy society women, it was reported yesterday.
According to the South China Morning Post, the department had placed undercover agents to infiltrate the close-knit ballroom dance community and catch the offenders.
Officials have even hosted birthday parties in popular venues, including private dance halls and restaurants, as well as taking up ballroom dancing lessons.
The covert operations are conducted amid expressions of concern from the ballroom dancing community about the large number of foreign dancing instructors from Europe and mainland China working illegally in Hong Kong.
Many legal dance studios claim to face financial ruin despite a boom in the popularity of ballroom dancing, blaming the black market for the collapse of the lucrative industry.
The newspaper quoted industry sources as saying that illegal instructors were luring customers away with lower charges and better fringe benefits.
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