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Crime in Hong Kong

Police investigation launched after burial niches damaged at Hong Kong Catholic cemetery

Dozens of urn niches were smashed in what police believe could be a case of criminal damage

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 September, 2018, 9:02pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 September, 2018, 9:55am

Hong Kong police are investigating suspected criminal damage after dozens of urn niches were found smashed at a Catholic cemetery in Cheung Sha Wan on Sunday.

A 62-year-old security guard at St Raphael’s Catholic Cemetery alerted authorities at about 12.30pm when he discovered that some 85 niches had been vandalised.

Holes were found in the top half of the niches’ marble sealing slabs, where the enamel photographs of the deceased would have appeared.

Most of the damaged slabs were from double niches containing the cremated remains of couples and appeared to have been randomly selected between sections 47 and 53.

No arrests have been made, and it is not yet clear what the motive behind the vandalism was, or if any property was taken from the niches.

Police have classified the incident as criminal damage, and detectives from the Sham Shui Po district criminal investigation team are handling the case.

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Neither the cemetery nor the Catholic Diocese could be reached for comment on Sunday.

St Raphael’s is one of five Catholic cemeteries run by the diocese in the city.

In 2010, about 40 graves were damaged at St Michael’s Catholic Cemetery in Happy Valley in a rare large-scale desecration, prompting the church to step up security.