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Crime in Hong Kong

Two drunk foreigners arrested after stealing, then crashing, Hong Kong taxi

Police catch South African man and his Portuguese friend driving down Connaught Road West

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 March, 2018, 2:05pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 March, 2018, 10:37pm

Two drunk foreigners were arrested in Hong Kong during Saturday’s early hours after allegedly stealing one taxi and crashing it into another.

The pair were caught driving down a main road after the incident was reported to police twice: once for the theft and once for the crash.

A police spokeswoman said the men were a South African national, 26, and a 28-year-old Portuguese citizen.

The pair got into the taxi at Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong’s central nightclub and entertainment district, at about 4am, planning to go to Kai Tak cruise terminal, some distance away in east Kowloon, police said. But they soon realised neither of them had enough cash to pay the expected fare of more than HK$100 (US$13).

The driver took them a short distance to a cash machine in Sheung Wan, where the Portuguese man got out to get money. The driver also got out.

A moment later, the spokeswoman said, the South African passenger – still in the vehicle – got into the driver’s seat, and his friend jumped into the cab, the pair driving off down Morrison Street, leaving behind the driver, who called police.

The vehicle crashed into another taxi on Morrison Street before speeding off again.

It was stopped on Connaught Road West and both men were detained. A breathalyser test found the driver was over the limit.

Police said the South African was arrested for drink-driving, unauthorised taking of a vehicle, making off without payment and not stopping after an accident.

His co-accused, the Portuguese national, was arrested for aiding and abetting the unauthorised taking of a vehicle and for making off without payment.

Bail denied to drunk man who snatched policeman’s gun and injured two officers

Drunk joyriders are not uncommon in Hong Kong.

Last month, an inebriated middle-aged man stole a taxi near Times Square shopping mall in Causeway Bay and drove 100 metres before abandoning it and running off. The act sparked a police manhunt, but no one was arrested.

And in 2015, an Australian tourist took a public minibus for a joyride after a night out in Wan Chai.

Watch: Why are Hong Kong taxis different colours?