Three Hong Kong minibus drivers arrested after undercover police catch them with overloaded vehicles
Two men, aged 43 and 54, and a 71-year-old woman caught in predawn operation on Wednesday, with their buses impounded
A 71-year-old woman was arrested after 25 passengers were found crammed into her 19-seat, red-topped minibus after a police undercover operation in northern Hong Kong before dawn on Wednesday.
Another two drivers – two men aged 43 and 54 – were also arrested in the operation after their 16-seat vehicles were found with five extra passengers in total, according to police.
The arrests were made after police officers posing as commuters boarded the three vehicles separately in Yuen Long before daybreak.
The three vehicles were intercepted one by one at the junction of Shap Pat Heung Road and Tai Tong Road, Yuen Long at about 5am, police said.
A police spokesman said 25 passengers were found on board the 19-seat minibus driven by the 71-year-old woman.
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He said the minibus driven by the 54-year-old man was found overloaded with three extra passengers and 18 passengers were found in the other 16-seater.
He said the three drivers were arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and their minibuses were impounded for examination.
The three Hongkongers were granted police bail pending further investigation. They must report back to police next month.
The arrests were this month’s second operation by officers from the New Territories North traffic unit against illegal activities that involved public buses.
In the previous operation carried out between May 4 and 14, police arrested two minibus drivers aged 61 and 66 for dangerous driving and issued fixed penalty tickets to another 17 drivers for speaking on the phone while driving, disobeying traffic lights and crossing double white lines.
In Hong Kong, red minibus drivers set their own routes and fares, while green minibuses are run by companies and regulated by the government.
The first batch of 19-seat minibuses made their debut on local roads in August last year after years of discussions and tussling between operators and authorities.