You owe, we hose, say illegal debt collectors

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2012, 12:00am


Illegal debt collectors, known for daubing paint on debtors' doors or dumping rubbish outside their flats, may have come up with a new method of intimidation: flooding the victim's home.

Police suspect debt collectors were responsible for prising open the door of a public estate flat in Tuen Mun yesterday, pushing a fire hose inside and turning the water on.

The woman tenant, who lives with her grown-up son, said it was the second attack in a week, but she did not know why her flat was targeted.

One detective said it was the first time he had come across such a tactic. 'Obviously, the attack is intended to issue a warning and make the tenants give in to [the collectors'] demand,' he said.

Illegal debt collectors are known for daubing threatening slogans on walls, pouring red paint on doors, chaining doors or jamming the locks with glue.

The tenant and her son were out when neighbours saw water flowing from their third-floor flat in Tip Chui House on the Butterfly Estate at 6.30am. They alerted a guard who turned off the water and called police.

'The wooden door had been prised open and a fire hose was extended into the flat and turned on,' a police spokeswoman said.

The tenant, a cleaner, said she had no debt problem and was not in dispute with anyone.

Police have classified the case as one of criminal damage.