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Friday, Mar 05, 2021

Nine arrested over robbery at flat of Hong Kong social media influencer

Nine arrested over robbery at flat of Hong Kong social media influencer

Police have detained five men and four women in raids across Hong Kong over robbery in Cheung Sha Wan on November 24.

Police have arrested nine people over a robbery during which a Hong Kong businesswoman, her six-month-old son and a domestic helper were tied up at home and valuables said to be worth more than HK$10 million (US$1.29 million) were stolen last month.

More than 10 handbags, believed to be part of the stolen property, were also recovered in a locker at a small storage centre in Tuen Mun.

The businesswoman, So Mei-yan, 25, often posted photographs of luxury watches and handbags, as well as cash, on social media.

On Friday morning, about 60 officers escorted one of the suspects to a hillside on Route Twisk in Tsuen Wan, where a red suitcase taken from the victim’s home was found.

Inspector Chu Ka-yee of the Sham Shui Po district crime squad said the five men and four women were arrested in a series of raids across the city on Thursday.

Police say it is possible that So Mei-yan was targeted because she displayed her wealth on social media.

“They included robbers and those who plotted the robbery and handled the stolen property,” she said, adding police were still searching for at least one more man in connection with the case.

She said the victim did not know the suspects.

“We don’t rule out the possibility that the victim was targeted because she posted her lifestyle on social media,” Chu said.

So, who runs a cosmetics business and is viewed as an influencer on trends, was asleep in her bedroom in her flat at One West Kowloon on Lai Chi Kok Road in Cheung Sha Wan when the robbers struck at around 11.15am on November 24. Her six-month-old son and helper were in the living room at the time.

Police recorded a 103 per cent rise in the number of robberies from 119 cases in the first 10 months of 2019 to 242 over the same period this year.

The maid opened the door after the doorbell rang and three robbers rushed into the flat. At least one was armed with a fruit knife.

The victims were tied up with adhesive tape and pushed into the son’s bedroom. The robbers stuffed the valuables into a red suitcase taken from the flat before fleeing. So managed to free herself before calling police.

Chu said the owner claimed the valuables – which included watches, handbags and jewellery – were worth more than HK$10 million.

As of Friday afternoon, the nine suspects, aged between 31 and 61, were being held for questioning and had not been charged.

Police recorded 242 cases of robbery in the first 10 months of the year, compared with 103 cases over the same period in 2019, a 103 per cent increase.


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