Two women said to be from Hong Kong have been arrested in Taiwan accused of theft, forgery and criminal damage after they allegedly entered the island with fake IDs and stole and defaced NT$30,000 (HK$8,000) worth of their former landlord’s property, Taiwanese media reported on March 12.
Tsang Lai-wun, 20, and Yau Hiu-tung, 19, both moved into a 33-square-metre apartment in Taipei on January 21. The pair allegedly said that they were exchange students at National Taiwan University of Arts and National Taiwan University.
According to local reports, because the two looked "innocent" and appeared "well behaved", their landlord allowed them to live in the apartment for nine days for free.
On February 22, he asked the women for a NT$9,000 (HK$2,300) deposit, but both Tsang and Yau are claimed to have said that they were unable to pay as they had not yet received money transfers from their parents.
The pair continued to live in the apartment until February 24. On that evening, the landlord’s daughter discovered the door of the apartment open and the women nowhere to be found.
Tsang and Yau had left an enormous amount of rubbish behind in their wake, he said. Piles of rotting, fly-ridden food were left in the living room, while tissue, sanitary pads and a bloodied pair of underwear were in the bathroom. The toilet was blocked with cigarette butts.
Additionally, the pair allegedly left a broken microwave on the floor, stole a 37-inch flat-screen television, slashed the room's brand new sofa, and wrote “F*** U” on the wall in pink lipstick.
“We think the most fantastic thing is how two pretty girls could coexist in an apartment with all that rubbish," the landlord's daughter told Taiwanese media.
Tsang and Yau moved into a different flat in New Taipei City, but they were arrested on March 11 after their new landlord saw a televised report on them and notified the police.
As police took the women to a police station for questioning, they reportedly swore at local reporters in Cantonese.
Authorities later discerned that the pair were not students but had entered Taiwan on tourist visas, and the Hong Kong identity cards they had presented to their landlords were fake.
The pair allegedly told the police that because their landlord had rented them a “crappy” apartment, they had decided to vandalise it and steal the television as revenge.
Investigations into the case are currently ongoing.
Taiwan has become an increasingly attractive destination for Hong Kong students, and in 2013, 4,585 Hongkongers competed for university spots on the island, according to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Hong Kong.
Additional reporting by Jeremy Blum firstname.lastname@example.org