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Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

Australian consul general’s official Hong Kong residence burgled, ransacked

Australian consul general’s official Hong Kong residence burgled, ransacked

Police investigating whether anything was stolen after property found ransacked early on Friday.
The official residence of the Australian consul general to Hong Kong was broken into early on Friday.

Police received a report of a burglary at 6.44am on Island Road at Deep Water Bay.

A security guard told police there were signs of forced entry to the property’s windows and ransacking inside.

After preliminary investigation, the case was listed as burglary but no items were found to be missing. Police suspect three men were involved in the break-in. No arrests had been made, as of Friday afternoon.

The Australian consulate said it could not discuss matters relating to security or the consul general’s official residence, adding it was waiting for an announcement on a permanent appointment for the role.

Ryan Neelam has been acting Australian consul general to Hong Kong and Macau since February this year. The residence was burgled in April 2015, when HK$100,000 (US$12,900) worth of property was taken.

Reports of burglaries have been on the rise across Hong Kong this year.

In August, police were called to the high-end Redhill Peninsula estate in Stanley after a woman found HK$700,000 (US$90,000) in cash and valuables had been stolen from her home after a break-in.

The previous month, a senior Swire Group executive had his house on The Peak broken into. His neighbour, French consul general Alexandre Giorgini, had his house burgled in January.

According to police, 1,156 burglaries were reported in the first half of 2020, a rise of 47.1 per cent from 786 in the same period last year.

To cope with the rising trend, police have stepped up patrols and conducted anti-burglary operations.

Burglary reports more than doubled across the first and second half of last year, going from 786 to 1,608, as police manpower was stretched by anti-government protests.
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