Pair held over theft at gala dinner granted bail
A man and woman arrested after allegedly enjoying a free meal and taking souvenir gifts while posing as guests at the Hong Kong Journalists Association's annual gala dinner were released on bail yesterday.
The man, 49, and the woman, 58, who have not been charged, had been held in police custody since Friday night.
They were arrested on suspicion of theft after members of the association called police at about 10pm near the end of Friday's 43rd annual gala dinner, held at the JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong.
The special guests at the four-course dinner, attended by about 500 people, were Exco member Leung Chun-ying and Charles Li Xiaojia, chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing.
Mak Yin-ting, chairwoman of the association, said people became suspicious of a man and woman, initially thought to be guests, while they were dining at one of the tables.
The man and woman, who spoke Putonghua, had requested vegetarian dishes, rather than meat or fish, during the dinner, she said.
Mak said the two people fled from the dining hall after one of her colleagues approached them to try to question them.
Police confirmed a man and a woman were later arrested at the hotel. They also said that some table souvenirs, believed to belong to the association, had been recovered.
'There were so many people at our gala dinner that it was almost impossible to check the identities of every guest,' Mak said.