Father who allegedly left learning disabled son, 11, in Singapore could face extradition
Singapore could try father who allegedly abandoned his disabled son if not enough evidence exists here to launch prosecution
Hong Kong police are negotiating with those in Singapore over whether the father of an 11-year-old mentally disabled boy who was abandoned in the city-state last week should stand trial there.
Police sources said the man, 45, was arrested at his Hong Kong home on Friday - two days after he flew back alone. He could be extradited to Singapore if there is insufficient evidence to prosecute him here, they said.
Detectives are seeking legal advice from the Department of Justice regarding whether the father could or should be tried in Hong Kong.
The deaf-mute boy was found wandering alone along Singapore's Marina Promenade on July 21, just hours after he arrived with his father, it later emerged. The father flew back to Hong Kong on Wednesday.
The Singapore Police Force made a public appeal for help to find the boy's family as he did not respond when they asked him for his personal details.
After days of investigation, they sought help from Hong Kong's police. On Friday, officers arrested the man at his home in Ping Shek Estate, Choi Hung. He has been released on bail and will report to the police this month.
"The alleged offence was plotted in Hong Kong and the boy was taken to Singapore from here," a Hong Kong police source said. "Under these circumstances, the suspect should be tried in court in Hong Kong for ill-treatment to a child."
Meanwhile, Hong Kong and Singapore authorities are making arrangements to send the boy back to the city. Sources said the Department of Justice had offered the Social Welfare Department help in preparing the appropriate legal documents to clear his passage.
The Singapore Police Force said on Facebook it was currently working closely with Hong Kong police and investigations were ongoing.
"The boy is safe and sound, and has been placed under the care of the Ministry of Social and Family Development," the statement said.
"Arrangements will be made to return the boy to his place of origin as soon as possible."
Kowloon East regional crime unit officers and social workers would probably fly to Singapore to bring the boy back to the city, another source said.
The boy was originally from a family of four with an older brother, but his parents were divorced. He was then raised by a carer who married his father and gave birth to a daughter three years ago.
He recently left a boarding school for children with special needs to return home for the summer holidays.
Police sources said the initial investigation suggested the boy's father, exhausted by trying to take care of his son, dumped him in Singapore after researching welfare for mentally disabled children there.
As of last night police had been unable to contact the boy's mother.