CYBERCRIME

Woman arrested in connection with threats sent to Hong Kong police released on bail

She has to report back in mid-April over case of four threats to police force, with at least one claiming bomb will be planted at a station

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 March, 2017, 11:49am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 March, 2017, 11:19pm

A 24-year-old woman arrested by Hong Kong police on Saturday morning in connection with a bomb hoax has been released on bail, in a case involving four threats made to the force.

A police spokeswoman told the Post that the woman, surnamed Wong, would have to report back to police in mid-April.

The suspect was detained at 2.30am in a flat in Yau Ma Tei. Police also took a computer, a mobile phone and a Wi-fi router.

Businessman stuck on plane told attendant there was a bomb in his baggage, Hong Kong court told

Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau senior officer Jethro Chiu Kin-yip said the woman was not a student and did not live alone.

The police spokeswoman said the force received “four anonymous messages [from Monday to Thursday], saying that someone would place a bomb in a police station”.

She said the case was under investigation and that police would not exclude the possibility of more people being involved.

The threats to the police came amid heated debate over the jailing of seven officers for beating up activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu in a dark corner of Tamar Park, Admiralty, during the Occupy protests in 2014. They were given two-year jail terms on February 17.

District Court judge David Dufton said the defendants had “brought dishonour to the Hong Kong police force” and that they had damaged Hong Kong’s international reputation.

Five days later, some 33,000 serving and former police officers staged a demonstration to express their solidarity with their jailed colleagues and to condemn what they described as unjust treatment by the city’s courts.

It is unclear whether the anonymous messages sent to the force are linked to recent events. However, Chiu said on Saturday that authorities would not rule out the possibility that the incident might be related to recent court cases. The officer did not elaborate.

Police stations across Hong Kong were put on high alert after the threats, according to a source.

The threats – written in traditional Chinese characters – were sent to the force from four different email addresses and using computer servers in the United States or Singapore, according to a source close to the matter.

The content of the messages varied, but the senders all described the city’s police as being “useless”. One of the emails claimed a bomb would be placed at a police station, without specifying which one, the source added.

A police spokesman stressed that a bomb hoax was a serious offence which carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of HK$150,000.