Underage suspects of Hong Kong 12 returned to the city from Shenzhen

  • The pair, caught at sea fleeing to Taiwan, were handed over to the police today and face charges on suspicion of absconding
  • Other members of the group were sentenced to prison time of up to three years
Kelly Fung |
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One of two teenage fugitives mainland Chinese authorities decided not to prosecute arrives at Hong Kong’s Tin Shui Wai police station. Photo: SCMP/ Felix Wong

The two youngest suspects from the group of 12 Hongkongers detained in mainland China were handed over to Hong Kong police this morning. The pair now face extra charges on suspicion of absconding.

The activists, surnamed Hoang, 17, and Liu, 18, were released by mainland authorities after being detained at the Yantian district detention centre in Shenzhen for more than four months. The pair was caught at sea by mainland Chinese authorities with 10 others as they allegedly attempted to flee to Taiwan on a speedboat.

The teens plead guilty to illegal border crossing and will not be charged as they are underage, according to the Yantian People’s Procuratorate.

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At noon today (Dec 30), police held a media briefing at Tin Shui Wai police station. They said the two teenagers will be put into a 14-day quarantine before they go to court for trial, and it will be up to the courts to decide whether they should be remanded.

Cheng Lai-kei, Senior Superintendent of the commercial crime bureau, said police would ask the court tomorrow to keep the pair in jail while awaiting trial.

Cheng added that the force is seeking legal advice on charging the two with “absconding”, which means escaping custody and avoiding arrest.

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Hoang is accused of arson and possessing offensive weapons, while Liu has been charged with producing and possessing offensive weapons to make Molotov cocktails.

The teens were able to phone their families, who will be able to visit them at Tin Shui Wai police station, before being sent to quarantine.

The other 10 members of the Hong Kong 12 were sentenced to up to three years in jail. Tang Kai-yin, 30, and Quinn Moon, 33, who are accused of organising the illegal border crossing, will face three years and two years imprisonment, respectively, along with a penalty of 20,000 yuan and 10,000 yuan. The remaining eight were sentenced to seven months in prison, with penalties of 10,000 yuan.

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