Five Hong Kong anti-triad officers arrested over staged crime scene
Sergeant and four constables suspended from duty after they were said to have perverted the course of public justice during anti-triad operation
Five Hong Kong police officers have been arrested for conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice during an operation against triad activities in Tsuen Wan.
They were said to have conspired with two other men, who were also arrested, to stage a crime scene in order for officers to be called in to take action.
The case was discovered during an investigation by the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau.
Six of the men have been released on bail and must report back to authorities later this month. The other man was still detained.
A police source said the case was discovered by bureau officers during an operation involving an undercover officer launched two years ago against Wo Shing Wo triad group, which led to 63 arrests. A secret surveillance and command centre in Kwai Chung, five underground gambling centres, and brothels and places where marijuana was grown were also shut down in the operation.
Details of the operation were publicised by police on June 30.
Investigators claimed the five officers from an anti-triad unit in Tsuen Wan Police Station, a sergeant and four constables, had tried to persuade at least two men to stage a crime scene with arcade machines running gambling fishing games so that officers could take action late last month.
The five officers had been suspended from duty, the source said.
A police spokesman said the department attached high importance to the integrity of police officers. It said it would not tolerate illegal acts from any staff and the officers would be handled seriously with criminal investigations and disciplinary reviews.
As of Tuesday, at least 31 police officers have been arrested for various crimes this year, compared with 29 arrests in the whole of 2017.
The offending officers arrested earlier this year ranged in rank from constable to superintendent. The alleged offences included shoplifting HK$32 in goods, indecently assaulting underage girls, taking money from a prostitute, attempted burglary and stealing and replacing 670,000 yuan cash evidence with fake banknotes.