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Crime in Hong Kong

Hong Kong cabby held after allegedly speeding off with tourists’ shopping worth HK$68,000

Police arrest man, 49, day after he drops off two mainland visitors at hotel – minus their five bags of brand-name goods

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 January, 2018, 7:30pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 January, 2018, 7:38pm

A Hong Kong taxi driver accused of speeding off with his passengers’ shopping bags of designer goods was arrested by police on Tuesday afternoon.

Police kicked off the manhunt after two female tourists from mainland China lost HK$68,800 (US$8,718) worth of clothing, shoes, belts and a handbag in the incident and made a report to police at about 11.30pm on Monday.

The women, aged 38 and 43, were carrying five bags of brand-name goods when they flagged down a taxi on Canton Road in the busy shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui shortly after 9.30pm.

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They asked the driver to take them to the East hotel in Taikoo Shing on Hong Kong Island and put the shopping in the boot of the vehicle. At about 10pm, the taxi reached the hotel on Taikoo Shing Road.

“After the passengers paid the fare and got out to collect their bags, the cabby drove off with bags of luxury goods in the boot,” a police source said.

The two women gave a brief chase but failed to stop the taxi. The pair, who arrived in the city on Saturday, returned to the hotel and spoke with their friends before making a report to police.

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After checking security camera footage, officers arrested the taxi driver, 49, and recovered all the goods in Kowloon Bay shortly after 4pm.

The driver was being held for questioning and had not been charged. Officers from Eastern district were handling the case.

According to official statistics, police handled 19,934 reports of theft across the city in the first 10 months of 2017, down 5.8 per cent compared with the figure for the same period of 2016.