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Thursday, Jan 20, 2022

Eight suspended over police death comments

Eight disciplinary force officers have been suspended from duty for publishing sarcastic or hate-inciting speech on the death of late marine police senior inspector Lam Yuen-yee, Secretary for Security Chris Tang Ping-keung said.
In yesterday's Legco meeting, lawmakers raised concerns about netizens and some disciplinary officers making sarcastic comments about the 37-year-old Lam who died during an anti-smuggling operation last month.

Lam and three officers had fallen into the sea during an anti-smuggling operation on September 25 when a police vessel capsized after colliding with a speedboat suspected of smuggling frozen meat.

Three officers were rescued at the scene while Lam's body was found near Yi O on Lantau Island two days later.

Tang said taunts regarding the officer were cold-blooded and no one should be sarcastic or gloat about the casualty, regardless of their political stance.

He said that eight members of the disciplinary services have been suspended from work due to their online remarks.

"I'm disappointed and angry that such remarks were made by disciplinary force officers. Teamwork is very important to the disciplinary forces and we were shocked to find that such remarks were made by our own officers, and it made us question whether they can work in the team," Tang said.

"We will assess whether any criminal offenses were involved, and if there's enough evidence, we will consider making arrests and lay prosecutions."

The suspended officers included two firemen, a policeman and a correctional services officer.

Police yesterday said they had seized seven modified speedboats and eight engines in connection with smuggling. The vessels were found in a car park in Tung Chung, police said, adding that a 17-year-old youth was arrested on suspicion of constructing vessels for the purpose of smuggling.

Meanwhile, a Zhuhai police speedboat and a smuggling boat ran aground on a beach at Nam Chung, near Tai O on Monday evening after a high-speed chase from Zhuhai.

Hong Kong police received reports from a passerby at around 5.45pm on Monday. Investigation revealed that the Zhuhai police speedboat, with four officers on board, entered Hong Kong waters unintentionally during the chase to protect the safety of the officers and the vessel. No one was injured.

A 46-year-old mainland man fled the smuggling boat and was arrested in Tai O by local police for illegal entry.

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