Hong Kong police carried out a series of raids last Friday and Saturday and smashed a syndicate smuggling illegal Vietnamese workers into Hong Kong and arrested almost 100 people.

During the two days, police raided about 70 places in the New Territories and arrested a total of 93 people involved in the smuggling syndicate, the Sing Tao Daily reported.

A total of 62 men and 31 women aged between 23 and 62 were arrested, including a Vietnamese woman and a mainland Chinese man who both had HK ID cards and were said to be key members of the syndicate.

Among those arrested, three were holding passports, 15 had two-way permits from mainland China and 26 were illegal immigrants from Vietnam. The other 34 were holding temporary stay permits from Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

Police acted on a tip-off after investigations found that the syndicate specialized in smuggling illegal Vietnamese workers by ship or across the border in vehicles. The syndicate provided the illegal immigrants with fake identity cards, arranged accommodation for them and helped them find work in Hong Kong, the Oriental Daily reported.

Each Vietnamese needed to pay HK$10,000 (US$1,274) for the smuggling fee. They received HK$400 to HK$500 per day in salaries, but needed to pay for rent and meals.