Police in Hong Kong and mainland China have been jointly tackling human smuggling. Photo: Hong Kong Government

Police in Hong Kong and mainland China have agreed to extend a joint operation to crack down on the trafficking of illegal migrants into the city, saying the human-smuggling problem remains very serious.

The joint operation netted 67,000 illegal migrants and illegal workers from Southeast Asian countries in Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan provinces between February last year to November this year, am730 reported.

Mainland authorities also stopped 293 attempts to smuggle migrants into Hong Kong, involving 3,470 people.

They also busted 50 people-smuggling syndicates and arrested 1,060 smugglers.

Hong Kong Secretary for Security John Lee said people-smugglers were now highly organized and used sophisticated tactics to try to avoid detection as they bring people in by sea and by land, Radio Television Hong Kong reported.

“When we try to concentrate efforts at a particular point, after they fail a few times they switch to other locations,” Lee said.

He said Hong Kong and the mainland would continue to tackle the problem by collecting intelligence and exchanging information.

Read: Illegal immigrants and traffickers arrested