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Thursday, Dec 09, 2021

Mainland police boat runs aground after entering Hong Kong waters during chase

Mainland police boat runs aground after entering Hong Kong waters during chase

Speedboat also beached near Tai O with suspected criminal on board fleeing scene, Hong Kong police said.

A mainland Chinese police vessel ran aground after entering Hong Kong waters in pursuit of a speedboat during an anti-smuggling operation on Monday, the local force revealed on Tuesday evening.

The speedboat also beached near Tai O with a suspected criminal on board fleeing the scene, Hong Kong police said in a statement.

A second mainland vessel was dispatched to rescue the first one.

Hong Kong police said they received a report from a passer-by around 5.45pm on Monday of two speedboats grounded at a rocky beach near Nam Chung in Tai O.

After an investigation, police learned that officers from Zhuhai Municipal Public Security Bureau had earlier been conducting an anti-smuggling operation in mainland waters.

“For the safety of the officers and the vessel, they accidentally entered Hong Kong waters when pursuing a speedboat suspected to be engaging in smuggling activities,” the statement said.

A mainland man, 46, was later arrested on a hillside at Nam Chung Tsuen around 9.25pm for illegally entering Hong Kong, although authorities have not confirmed if it was the person who escaped. He is being held for further inquiries.

Hong Kong police also seized the speedboat for investigation.

The two Zhuhai vessels returned to mainland waters the same evening.

The statement did not mention when Hong Kong police were officially told by their Zhuhai counterparts about the accident and the dispatch of the second security vessel, saying only the local force would continue to liaise with the mainland side on the case.

Hong Kong and Guangdong police ramped up cooperation on combating cross-border smuggling activities after a local officer was killed during a maritime operation last month.

Senior Inspector Lam Yuen-yee died at sea during an anti-smuggling operation on September 25. She and three colleagues were thrown overboard after their vessel was rammed by a turbocharged speedboat they were trying to intercept off Sha Chau, where such police operations are common.

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