‘The Chinese government wants to kill us,’ say Hong Kong women accused of Taiwan vandalism
The saga of Tsang Lai-wun and Yau Hui-tung takes a turn for the bizarre
Two women said to be from Hong Kong have become notorious in Taiwan for allegedly vandalising an apartment and telling local authorities that they are being "hunted" by the Chinese government.
Tsang Lai-wun, 20, and Yau Hiu-tung, 19, made headlines on March 12 after they used fake IDs to enter Taiwan and defaced NT$30,000 (HK$8,000) worth of their former Taipei landlord's property, local media reported.
The pair reportedly filled their 33-square-metre room with rubbish, sanitary pads and bloody underwear, and even stole a 37-inch flat-screen television.
According to Taiwan's Now News, after Tsang and Yau were questioned by Taipei police, news of their arrest went viral and the duo fled to southern Taiwan. They were first reported by a hostel owner in Pingtung county and finally apprehended in a separate hostel in Tainan, Taiwan's oldest city.
A worker at the Tainan hostel recognised the two women from television, even though Tsang had dyed her hair orange and Yau had dyed hers pink.
The worker said that one of the women had checked into the hostel using the fake name Chen Mei-ling, but "definitely had a Hong Kong accent" which revealed that she was most likely not a native Taiwanese.
Local Tainan police arrived at the hostel and found that the women's room had been vandalised in a similar manner as their flat in Taipei. Rubbish was strewn about the bed, table and floor, while the toilet had been blocked with tissue. The words "Taiwan is China" had been written on the wall.
Tsang and Yau were arrested and taken to a police station in Taipei. Upon arrest, the two women reportedly demanded fried chicken, and Yau, who had been eating dried pinapple cakes that had cut her gums, asked police to call an ambulance. Her request was denied.
According to Apple Daily reports, when authorities asked the women why they had used fake IDs to enter Taiwan, the pair said that they were on the run after robbing 100,000 yuan (HK$ 126,000) worth of treasure from graves in Xiamen, Fujian province.
Tsang and Yau added that they had smuggled themselves on a boat to the outlying Taiwanese island of Kinmen before entering Taipei and said they had fled Hong Kong after they were framed for stealing a mobile phone.
They insisted that the Chinese Communist Party was "trying to kill them", and that they planned to commit suicide after their funds were exhausted.
Their claims have yet to be confirmed and investigations are still underway.
Prior to being arrested for theft, forgery and criminal damage, the pair alleged that they were both from Hong Kong and had come to Taipei to study at National Taiwan University of Arts and National Taiwan University.
News of the women's actions has ignited heated online discussion among several Hongkongers, and some netizens have speculated that the women may be "new Hongkongers", or recent migrants from the mainland.
Additional reporting by Jeremy Blum firstname.lastname@example.org