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Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

Mainland visitor arrested on suspicion of begging at Kwun Tong market

A disabled mainland visitor to Hong Kong was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of begging outside a market in Kwun Tong, the same day he arrived in the city.
He is the third mainland visitor arrested for the same offense in three days. Netizens have complained that they have seen more begging activities on the streets of Hong Kong after the city resumed restriction-free, cross-border travel earlier this month.

Police were alerted about the case at around 11am yesterday, which saw the 38-year-old alleged beggar outside Shui Wo Street Market kneeling and bowing with a pair of crutches and a red plastic bucket in front of him.

Police officers arrested the man after witnessing passers-by putting money in the plastic bucket, also seizing his crutches, the plastic bucket, and HK$700 in cash.

It is understood that the man was a holder of a two-way permit - a travel document used to enter Hong Kong, while initial investigation revealed that the man arrived in the city on the morning of the day he was arrested.

Police warned that under the Summary Offences Ordinance, any person who places themselves in any public place, street, or waterway to beg or gather alms commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine of HK$500 and up to 12 months imprisonment.

On Tuesday night, a 73-year-old woman and a 66-year-old man from the mainland were arrested in Causeway Bay after they were suspected of playing the erhu, a Chinese string instrument, and collecting money from passers-by.

They were arrested after police officers were called to the scene to handle a complaint about the duo.
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