Egg-waffle hawker arrested in welfare cash probe

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 May, 2011, 12:00am


Unlicensed egg-waffle hawker Ng Yuk-fai was arrested for alleged fraud over welfare claims.

It is alleged that Ng, 74, (pictured) claimed payments while earning a substantial income from illegal hawking.

Police said yesterday he was arrested on Wednesday in Wan Chai.

He was released on bail and told to report back to the police early next month. Ng did not return to his wood hut in Shelter Street, Tai Hang, yesterday, where a contingent of reporters waited fruitlessly for him throughout the day. He lives in the hut and usually stores his hawking cart and gear there.

The case is being handled by a Wan Chai district criminal investigation team. Police did not give further details.

It is illegal to have an independent income while claiming social welfare in Hong Kong. A spokesman for the Social Welfare Department refused to comment yesterday.

The department reported his case to police after an internal review of Ng's records.

Ng has been an egg-waffle hawker for more than 30 years and is known to locals as 'the old egg waffle man'.

He has previously said he refused to accept social welfare and worked for his own living.

He hit the headlines when he was arrested for illegal hawking by Food and Environmental Hygiene Department officers in Tung Lo Wan Road on April 10.

Some 30 officers from the department and police were deployed to contain an angry crowd of more than 70 supporters.

In Eastern Court on April 15 he was fined HK$220 for street obstruction, HK$280 for illegal hawking and HK$280 for illegally cooking food.

But on April 16, reports emerged that Ng was a recipient of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance.