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Crime in Hong Kong

Visitors from notorious Guangxi Zhuang village arrested in Hong Kong as HK$100,000 in stolen property recovered

Team of 15 detectives took about 12 hours to track down their hideout

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 September, 2017, 5:45pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 September, 2017, 1:43pm

Three visitors from a notorious village in southern China were arrested by Hong Kong police after they were thought to be scouting targets in one of the city’s luxury residential areas on Wednesday.

A team of 15 detectives took about 12 hours to track down their hideout in a guest house at Mirador Mansion, Tsim Sha Tsui, where they recovered HK$100,000 worth of stolen property on Thursday.

Police were investigating whether the three men – aged 22, 31 and 35 – hailed from a village gang in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region where many residents share the surname Wei. The Post understands the three suspects are surnamed Wei.

An initial investigation showed the men arrived from the mainland on Sunday and last visited Hong Kong about three months ago, a police source said.

The three suspects were picked up by police after being spotted acting suspiciously at a hillside off Lok Shun Path in Sha Tin at about 3pm Wednesday. Two rucksacks containing tools such as a saw, pliers and labour gloves were found nearby.

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Police said a trail in the area leads to Kau Tau Shan. Police believed the three walked downhill after scouting targets in the luxury residential area.

As the suspects refused to reveal where they stayed in Hong Kong, police pored over security camera footage showing they lodged at either Mirador Mansion or Chungking Mansions on Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui.

“Police checked more than 50 guest houses in the two buildings before identifying the guest house in Mirador Mansion where the three men stayed,” the source said.

Inside their room, police seized valuables including a ruby, three watches and jade items.

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“The valuables are confirmed as stolen property in burglary cases in which more than HK$100,000 in valuables were stolen along with HK$20,000 in cash from two flats in Sai Wan Ho on Tuesday,” senior inspector Daniel Yam Chin-leung of Sha Tin district crime squad said.

He said police were investigating whether the suspects were linked to other burglaries in the city.

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At 4pm Thursday, the three men were being held for questioning and none had been charged.

Hong Kong’s expensive residential areas, including The Peak, Shouson Hill, Deep Water Bay, Repulse Bay and Kowloon Tong, were targeted last year, resulting in a 70 per cent surge in the number of high-end household burglaries in the city.

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Figures showed the number of burglaries in Hong Kong with losses totalling at least HK$500,000 climbed from 31 cases in 2015 to 54 last year. There were 13 such cases in the first six months of this year.

Cases dropped after police arrested at least two gangs of mainland men earlier this year. Some of the suspects were said to belong to the gang in Guangxi Zhuang.

Latest figures show police handled 1,149 reports of burglary across the city in the first seven months of this year, down 18.3 per cent compared with 1,407 cases in the same period last year.