Hong Kong Immigration Tower, Wan Chai Photo: Asia Times

Hong Kong and mainland law enforcement authorities arrested 28 people and busted a gang that made and sold fake HKID cards to illegal Vietnamese immigrants in a joint cross-border operation.

Following months of investigation, the authorities conducted raids in Hong Kong and in the mainland since Tuesday. Hong Kong police and immigration officers, and mainland authorities were involved.

Of the 26 people arrested in Hong Kong, nine of the suspects were identified as a core group that masterminded the operation. Nine illegal workers and seven others suspected of employing them were also among those arrested, public broadcaster RTHK reported.

Superintendent Kwan King-pan from the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau said the gang mainly provided fake ID cards to Vietnamese migrants for around a HK$1,000 (US$128) each.

The police confiscated three forged HKID cards, HK$80,000 in cash, smartphones and bank cards used for accounts to launder the money.

Chief Immigration Officer Lau Wing-kei said the counterfeit cards were badly made, Ta Kung Pao reported.

Mainland authorities also raided a site that manufactured the fake identity cards, arrested a man and a woman, and recovered two genuine cards that had been reported as lost.