Hong Kong police on Friday arrested three people over smoke bombs found at a Tin Shui Wai flat. Three other people were arrested separately over the misuse of officers’ personal information online.
The latest arrests came after a Fo Tan industrial building flat was raided on Thursday, which saw eight people arrested – including Andy Chan, the founder of the now-banned pro-independence Hong Kong National Party (HKNP).
At a Friday press conference, police said that a man and two women – aged between 23 and 47 – were arrested the night before over 30 smoke bombs confiscated.
Officers said they also found ingredients for making smoke bombs and HK$500,000 in cash. Senior Superintendent Steve Li said that police were investigating if there were links to recent protests, as smoke bombs have been used against officers.
The operation took place around the same time as officers raided the Haribest Industrial Building in Fo Tan, which Li said took place because officers “happened to see a group of suspicious men” pushing a trolley loaded with supplies.
During the Fo Tan operation, police found a petrol bomb, baseball bats, ball bearings, bow and arrows, protective gear and communication equipment.
Asked if the weapons were linked to Chan, HKNP or recent protests, Li said that the force was still investigating the issue, and will look into whether Chan’s ties with HKNP will give rise to other offences related to banned societies.
Police on Friday also arrested two men who allegedly publicised the personal information of police officers, and were suspected of inciting others to commit public nuisance.
Regarding the personal data leakage concerning Police officers & their families, & the public order events in the coming few days, Superintendent Louis Lau Siu-pong has the following messages.
— Hong Kong Police Force (@hkpoliceforce) August 1, 2019
Another man was arrested for fraud after he tried to use a police officer’s information to apply for a loan online.
Li said that the police found a replica gun during the Yuen Long protests on July 27. He said that the force noticed online comments about using replica firearms and “high-powered laser cannons,” and warned against their use.
“It is a dangerous sign… if people use replica firearms in future protests, nobody at the scene will be able to tell whether it’s real or fake, and the consequences will be very serious,” he said.
Sha Tin Assistant District Commander (Crime) Sam Chan noted that the people who surrounded Sha Tin police station – which numbered at 250 at its peak – were guilty of unlawful assembly. The protesters also committed criminal damage as they damaged surveillance cameras and vandalised the station’s exterior, he said.