I disagree slightly on the ‘no crime’ part, but I watched the FlightRadar24 replay of the GFS jet this morning and it was absolutely predatory. Hours and hours of a small jet circling around at low speed and very low altitude, then hovering over them as they walked into a trap. https://twitter.com/hongkongharv/status/1313173726179979265
Per crimes, I guess it’s about on par with being caught crossing into China from Hong Kong without going through immigration in any other context. So a fairly minor crime where the punishment should be something like a fine and deportation. Which, of course, isn’t happening here
You can’t look at that flight pattern and not see that the entire thing was a planned operation that begins with a small jet (usually used for meteorology) taking off at 4:30am and knowing *exactly* where to go and what to look for.
Wondered that too for awhile. The most likely answer is that all twelve were either under criminal indictment or investigation and HKPF was likely monitoring at least one of their comms and movements. https://twitter.com/rjmcgirr/status/1313370832987537409
I think ‘taking the Lamma ferry’ is the wrong analogy, legally. My question is why HK fishermen aren’t subject to the same entry/exit requirements. But (a) most of us don’t know anything about the intersection of maritime law and customs/imm laws, (b) it’s China so doesn’t matter https://twitter.com/hongkongharv/status/1313385272952799232
Would we have the same skepticism if someone was stopped in a speedboat crossing from Sai Kung (HK) to Da Peng (SZ) trying to evade going through immigration?
But is it actually illegal to enter PRC waters from the SAR with the intent of reaching international waters without going through a border or any customs/imm process? How does the fact that it wasn’t a RT journey, but a plan to travel to a different legal jurisdiction change it?
At the end of the day, though: they were caught inside PRC jurisdiction without authorization to be there. Even minor crimes in China come with all sorts of legal tools to keep you in pre-trial custody for a long time for any reason they want. https://twitter.com/comparativist/status/1313395653406457857
A lawyer responds:

[but the actual analogy would be leaving England to reach Spain but being apprehended in French waters] https://twitter.com/foarp/status/1313396710488576007
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