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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09HONGKONG2061 2009-11-09 11:14:00 CONFIDENTIAL Consulate Hong Kong
Cable title:  

SECURITY BUREAU ON REMOVAL OF ZHOU YONGJUN FROM

Tags:   PGOV PHUM CH HK 
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VZCZCXRO3119
PP RUEHCN
DE RUEHHK #2061/01 3131114
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 091114Z NOV 09
FM AMCONSUL HONG KONG
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8921
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3678
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 1468
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HONG KONG 002061 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/CM; ALSO FOR DRL. BEIJING FOR POL - HAGGARD;
CHENGDU FOR POL/ECON - COWHIG

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/09/2019
TAGS: PGOV PHUM CH HK
SUBJECT: SECURITY BUREAU ON REMOVAL OF ZHOU YONGJUN FROM
HONG KONG TO MAINLAND

REF: (A) STATE 113599 (B) HONG KONG 1968 (NOTAL)

Classified By: Acting Consul General Christopher Marut for reasons 1.4
(b) and (d)



1. (C) Summary: On a confidential basis, Hong Kong's Security
Bureau told the Acting Consul General that Hong Kong
Immigration denied entry to a traveler using a false
Malaysian passport in the name of "Wang Xingxiang" in
September 2008. They had no indication "Wang" was known by
any other names, and he presented no travel or identity
document indicating citizenship or residency in another
country. Based on their investigation, Hong Kong Immigration
officers determined "Wang" to be a PRC national, and
therefore removed him to the Mainland. Hong Kong implements
immigration policy in accordance with the Basic Law and the
Hong Kong Immigration Ordinance, and "will not be influenced
by any other third parties." End summary.



--------------------------


Legal Standard


--------------------------





2. (C) Acting Consul General called on Under Secretary for
Security Lai Tung-kwok (Secretary for Security Lee was not
available) to deliver ref A points November 9. Lai was
joined by Political Assistant Victor Lo Yik-kee. In response
to our demarche, Lai told the Acting Consul General that Hong
Kong manages immigration policy autonomously in accordance
with Article 154 of the Basic Law and the Hong Kong
Immigration Ordinance. Persons applying for entry believed
to be in possession of false or fraudulently obtained travel
documents are investigated. In some cases, evidence is
insufficient to prosecute the individual for the use of the
false or fraudulent document, and therefore the individual is
simply "removed" like any other person denied entry. In such
cases, in order to prevent the malafide document from being
used again, Hong Kong Immigration generally removes the
individual to his point of origin.



3. (C) U/S Lai stressed that anyone facing removal is advised
of his rights, which include:

-- Access to legal counsel, including providing a list of
attorneys;

-- Access to their consular officials; and

-- The right to contact family or friends.

Whether or not the individual chooses to exercise these
rights is at his discretion.



--------------------------


The Case of "Wang Xingxiang"


--------------------------





4. (C) Noting that the Zhou Yongjun case had already
attracted attention from the Hong Kong Legislative Council,
Lai reiterated the Security Bureau's policy not to discuss
individual cases. However, on an exceptional basis, and on
condition of confidentiality, Lai indicated he could offer
the Acting Consul General some additional information about
the case of "a gentleman" claiming to be "Wang Xingxiang."
Indicating our information about dates of travel was correct,
Lai told us Wang Xingxiang was the name of an individual
sought by the Hong Kong police in a "deception case" (we
assume Lai meant "fraud") involving a "local bank" (according
to other reports, Hong Kong's Hang Seng bank). After he was
halted by Immigration at the port of entry, "Wang" was
investigated by the Hong Kong police, who determined he was
not the individual they sought.



5. (C) Having determined that "Wang" was traveling on a false
or fraudulent document, Hong Kong Immigration decided to
remove him. Lai stressed that "Wang" was advised of the
rights noted above. Lai also stressed that, at no point did
"Wang" indicate he was known by any other name, such as Zhou
Yongjun, nor did he claim citizenship or residence in any
other country. "Wang" was not carrying a U.S. "green card,"
Lai told the Acting Consul General, and if he had been,
Immigration would certainly have sought to confirm his
identity with the United States.



6. (C) Lai explained that Immigration "understood through
various channels" that "Wang" was from the PRC. Lai did not
elaborate, and further on in the conversation he ascribed
that determination to the results of interviews with "Wang."

HONG KONG 00002061 002 OF 002


Asked, Lai expressed firm confidence "Wang" was not a
Malaysian, but would not say Hong Kong had confirmed that
with the Malaysian government. Lai also told us Hong Kong
was not in possession of any international warrant or
INTERPOL circular regarding Wang Xingxiang. Lai reiterated
to the Acting Consular General that Hong Kong Immigration
operated on the basis of the Basic Law and Hong Kong law and,
in what we took as a clear reference to Mainland authorities,
stressed that "we will not be influenced by any third
parties."



--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------





7. (C) The short answer from Security Bureau is, we had a
traveler using the name "Wang Xingxiang" with a bad Malaysian
passport. Absent other identification information, we
determined him to be a PRC national, and removed him to the
Mainland per standing procedure in false travel document
cases we do not intend to prosecute in Hong Kong.



8. (C) Based on what we knew going in, including a telling
remark from Hong Kong's Department of Justice that they were
not involved in the case, a removal action is likely the only
legal means by which Zhou could have found himself at the PRC
border. Assuming what Lai told us is the sum total of the
facts in the case, while officer discretion may have been
involved in decisions (a) that "Wang's" identity would not be
checked with Malaysia (which, given that the passport was
acquired illegally, would not have helped Zhou avoid removal
or likely led to his being sent to Malaysia instead of the
PRC); and (b) that "Wang" was in fact a PRC national; the
process does not appear to be legally irregular. No
collusion is required between Hong Kong and the PRC for Zhou
to have been detained by the Mainland following his removal
-- based on Lai's recounting, "Wang" was a traveler without
identity documents other than a malafide Malaysian passport,
and therefore would almost certainly have been investigated
by PRC immigration at the border.



9. (C) We feel confident in ruling out Lai having told us a
deliberate falsehood. We do not, and will not, know for
certain what Zhou did or did not say about his identity to
Immigration. Whether Hong Kong Immigration suspected who
Zhou was, Lai was emphatic that they had nothing from either
Zhou himself or the documents he was carrying to indicate
another identity. We are confident that, had he been
carrying a U.S. green card, Hong Kong Immigration would have
reached out to us through channels. Finally, we do not know
whether, formally or otherwise, there was a discussion with
anyone in the PRC about the case during the process leading
to Zhou's removal.



10. (C) At this point, we do not see a basis for further
formal inquiry with the Hong Kong government. We will
continue to monitor legal action taken in Hong Kong on Zhou's
behalf by his local attorney and by the Legislative Council.
MARUT