Some 21 people were arrested for illegal work and hiring in various districts in Kowloon during a joint operation by local authorities on Wednesday morning.

At 7am, officers from the tactical unit from West Kowloon Regional Police and stations in the district, together with immigration and labor department officers, staged raids in Kowloon City, Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui , Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po.

A total of 21 people aged from 25 to 53 were arrested during the operation codenamed “Powerplayer”, the Oriental Daily reported.

There were six men and women from Pakistan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Nepal among the arrested, together with four men and six women from mainland China who held two-way entry permits. They have been accused of working illegally, breaching the condition of their stay, entering Hong Kong illegally and possession of a forged identity card.

A further five people – two local men, one local woman and two Nepalese, who were suspected to be employers – were also arrested.

All of those arrested were detained for further investigation and immigration officials will follow up on their cases.