Hong Kong will seek custody of boy allegedly abandoned by father in Singapore: source

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 August, 2014, 1:36pm
UPDATED : Friday, 08 August, 2014, 5:06am

The 11-year-old boy allegedly abandoned by his father in Singapore landed back at Hong Kong airport shortly before 1am yesterday, and sources said a court order would now be sought to give Hong Kong's Social Welfare Department custody.

The boy, who cannot hear or talk and is understood to be mentally disabled, was immediately taken to the Aberdeen boarding school for children with learning difficulties which he left last month to return home for the holidays.

His teacher accompanied representatives from the police, Immigration Department and Social Welfare Department to Singapore on Wednesday to collect the boy, who was said to be in good health.

"A care-and-protection order will be sought in court to award the Social Welfare Department custodial authority of the boy," a police source said.

The boy's return came a fortnight after he was found wandering alone along Singapore's Marina Promenade at around 8pm on July 21.

Police believe he had arrived in Singapore earlier that same day with his father, who then flew back alone to Hong Kong two days later.

After Singapore police turned to Hong Kong for help in their search to identify the boy, officers arrested the father on July 25 at his home in a public housing estate in Wong Tai Sin district.

The 45-year-old was later released on bail. It is understood he is divorced from the boy's mother and is now married to the woman he employed to care for the boy.

The odd-job worker is understood to have escaped extradition to Singapore to face trial as the alleged offence was thought to have been planned in Hong Kong.

"We have enough evidence to prosecute the father in Hong Kong," a police source said, adding that the likely charges would concern ill-treatment or neglect of a child, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.