Twelve people have been arrested on suspicion of working without permits or being employed as illegal workers in a joint operation involving Hong Kong police, plus labor and immigration officials.

At 2am on Wednesday, enforcement officers raided target locations in Yau Ma Tei and Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon, Oriental Daily reported.

A total of 12 people aged from 26 to 55 were arrested, including four asylum seekers from Pakistan, India and Indonesia, who were alleged to be illegal workers.

Six people, who hold two-way permits from mainland China, were also arrested for working illegally and breaching their conditions of stay.

Two local men were arrested for hiring illegal workers.

According to Section 38AA of the Immigration Ordinance, illegal immigrants or people who are subject to a removal or deportation order are prohibited from any employment, whether paid or unpaid, or establishing or joining any business. Offenders convicted for such an offence face a fine of up to HK$50,000 (US$6,400) and up to three years in jail.