Extra security and traffic cordons for suspected Indian gangster when he appears in Hong Kong court
Sources tell the Post that around 20 heavily-armed officers will be deployed to escort Ramanjit Singh as he is taken to Kowloon City Court on Friday, while patrols are deployed at sensitive areas along convoy route
Police are not taking any chances and will tighten security inside and outside a Hong Kong court where a suspected Indian gangster, wanted by Interpol over his alleged links to terrorism, political killings and jailbreak, will attend on Friday, the Post has learned.
The Post understands that at least three police vehicles carrying about 20 heavily-armed officers will be deployed to escort Ramanjit Singh, 29, in a Correctional Services Department van from the high-security Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre to Kowloon City Court, where he is due to face a robbery charge in the morning.
“Sensitive locations such as footbridges along the route will be guarded by police,” a police insider said. “Officers from the traffic division will be deployed to cordon off and control traffic lights at busy junctions before the convoy arrives in an effort to ensure a smooth escort.”
The source said police will carry out a risk assessment and plan at least two different routes to escort the suspect. “We have contingency plans when any untoward incidents occur,” he said.
Another source said uniformed and plain-clothes police officers would be deployed inside and outside the court. “Visitors will have to undergo a bag inspection before entering the court,” he said.
In Hong Kong, body screening by metal detectors and bag inspections were introduced in the Family Court in Wanchai Tower in November and in the High Court in Admiralty last month after a man pulled a knife in the High Court in October. Similar security measures will gradually be introduced in other court buildings.
The police sources said officers from the force’s elite Counter Terrorism Response Unit may be deployed on Friday along with dozens of officers from the Police Tactical Unit, Emergency Unit and Traffic Division.
Singh, alias Romi, was charged in relation to a February 9 hold-up in which more than 450 million Japanese yen (HK$33 million) was stolen in Tsim Sha Tsui. He appeared in court on February 23 and the case was adjourned to Friday.
Interpol launched a worldwide search for Singh after receiving a request from India’s justice department.
Among crimes Singh was accused of in the notice were “conspiring in, abetting, advising and facilitating terrorist activities”, raising funds for terrorism, preparing an act of terror and membership of a terrorist group. He was also accused of attempted murder, robbery and breaking prisoners out of jail.
Security at Hong Kong prison raised to maximum for Indian-born alleged jailbreaker and terrorism funder ‘Romi’
Without revealing the arranged help from the police force, the Correctional Services Department (CSD) said the department would make appropriate escort arrangements for court attendance with regard to the security risk of individual cases and in accordance with the circumstances.
“CSD will not comment on individual cases for security reasons,” its spokeswoman said.
When asked about the security arrangements at Kowloon City Court on Friday, the judiciary said: “Taking into consideration the assessments and having regard to the actual needs of the situation, appropriate security measures will be put into place by relevant parties.
“Having regard to security reasons, it is inappropriate for the judiciary to disclose details of security measures for individual cases.”