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Crime in Hong Kong

Ten-year-old girl arrested for HK$5 million jewellery theft may have been beaten with hanger by father

Source says social worker found bruises on child while she was in police custody and alerted officers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 May, 2018, 9:46am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 May, 2018, 12:06pm

A primary school girl arrested on suspicion of stealing HK$5 million (US$641,000) worth of jewellery from her father’s friend may have been a victim of child abuse, according to police sources.

Police listed a case of suspected child abuse at 5am on Thursday involving a 10-year-old girl in Lung Moon House in Lower Wong Tai Sin Estate – the same public housing estate where the girl suspected of theft lived.

Police sources confirmed it was the same girl who had been arrested two nights ago.

The force revealed on Thursday morning a social worker had found bruises on the girl’s arms and legs and reported the case to police.

Three Hong Kong schoolgirls, aged 10 to 12, arrested for allegedly stealing HK$5 million in diamond jewellery

Preliminary investigations showed the girl could have been “assaulted” by her father with a clothes hanger last month because of “familial issues”.

We sent her straight to hospital from the police station in the presence of her aunt.
A police source

The Post understands that the girl told officers she was beaten by her father when he was questioning her about the whereabouts of the missing valuables. A police source said this took place before the suspected theft was reported.

A social worker from a care home found the bruises while the girl was in custody and alerted officers. The medical examination was ongoing, the source said, and no arrests had been made as of Thursday morning.

Another insider said a different police team had taken over the case after the girl was bailed on Wednesday following her arrest for theft the previous day.

“We sent her straight to hospital from the police station in the presence of her aunt,” the second source said.

“We will get her statement via video recording and examine the injuries.”

The father’s friend, a 39-year-old woman, reported the theft to police on Monday night.

The woman, who works at an investment company, told officers two diamond necklaces and a diamond bracelet had gone missing from her handbag.

The woman had moved in with the young girl’s father, a hairstylist, in January this year. The girl was said to have taken a dislike to the woman, and they often clashed.

In Hong Kong, most child abuse victims suffer at hands of parents

The lost jewellery has not yet been recovered.

Two of the girl’s schoolmates, both 12, were arrested separately on Tuesday and Wednesday. The 10-year-old girl told police she had given them the jewellery, sources said.

One of the older girls was released unconditionally on Wednesday, while the other was released on bail the same day and has to report to police later this month.