Hong Kong student arrested for bringing explosive substance to school refused bail

South China Morning Post

The Form Six student is accused of carrying 0.5 grams of unstable chemical compound TATP at Caritas Ma On Shan Secondary School on Wednesday

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A student accused of bringing an explosive substance to school was refused bail when he appeared before magistrates on Friday.

A Hong Kong secondary student who was arrested for allegedly bringing an explosive substance to school has been refused bail by a court on Friday.

Lai Man-Kwong, an 18-year-old Form Six student has been charged with possession of an explosive substance after he was accused of carrying 0.5 grams of triacetone triperoxide (TATP) at Caritas Ma On Shan Secondary School on Wednesday.

Senior public prosecutor Andy Lo Tin-wai told Sha Tin Court the dangerous powder was found wrapped in tin foil, when more than 300 students and teachers were on site.

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Police officers at the explosive ordnance disposal bureau were summoned to the scene and neutralised the substance on the spot, he said.

Lo applied for extra time for further police inquiry, including forensic examinations on another bag of suspected explosives, compiling expert reports and analysis of the mobile phone seized from the accused.

Acting principal magistrate Ko Wai-hung adjourned the case to January 24 and ordered Lai to be remanded in custody, after the prosecution objected to him being granted bail. The student may request to review his bail application on December 6.

Caritas Ma On Shan Secondary School in Sha Tin was closed after the discovery of a dangerous powder on the grounds on Wednesday.
Photo: Xiaomei Chen/SCMP

Possession of explosives is punishable by 14 years in prison under the Crimes Ordinance.

Lai, who is a student at the school and looking to take the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) examination next year, was supported by some 40 people in the courtroom, including his mother, teachers and schoolmates.

Two students of the school, including Lai, were arrested on Wednesday and held overnight for questioning.

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The other student, a 17-year-old Form Four pupil, was granted police bail on Thursday night, according to police. He will report back to police in mid-December. Detectives from the New Territories South regional crime unit are handling the case.

The incident forced the school to evacuate all students and staff from the premises on Wednesday. Classes were suspended the following day for a clean-up.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the school said they had provided help to the two students.