Three mainland Chinese residents arrested over Hong Kong jewellery fair theft

Arrests come two days after five people were detained over pearl theft on exhibition’s opening day

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 September, 2016, 9:03am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 September, 2016, 9:02am

With a Hong Kong international jewellery show in full swing, thieves are continuing to target booths seeking an easy steal.

Police announced the arrest of three mainland people – two women and one man aged between 35 and 38 – in connection with a theft at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai on Thursday afternoon.

The arrests came after five mainland people were arrested at the main jewellery venue at AsiaWorld-Expo on Tuesday – the opening day. Pearls worth HK$250,000 were stolen.

Around 1.30pm on Thursday, exhibition staff grew suspicious about the activities of a woman. Police and the exhibition’s security personnel were called in to help. Subsequent searches of two more men at the scene yielded rings and necklaces worth HK$250,000.

The trio were arrested on suspicion of theft and were still being detained on Thursday night. They have yet to be charged.

The seven-day jewellery show is being held at two venues – the AsiaWorld-Expo near the Hong Kong International Airport and the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.

The AsiaWorld-Expo segment, running from Tuesday to Saturday, showcases raw materials including diamonds, loose gemstones and pearls as well as equipment and packaging.

The Wan Chai event, which runs from Thursday to Monday, highlights finished products.

More than 3,600 exhibitors from 55 countries and regions are taking part in the events. About 58,000 buyers from around the world are expected to attend.

A year ago, a suspected thief from the mainland was arrested in possession of a fake diamond that police believed she intended to swap for a real gem.

In June last year, diamonds and other jewels worth more than HK$6.9 million were stolen in 17 thefts over a four-day period during a show at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.