Date
25 May 2017
Police (inset) arrest a suspect in an attempted extortion involving staged motor accidents. A Hong Kong tour bus, which was stopped three times by a motorcycle gang, arrived at its destination under police escort. Photo: Chinayaozhai.com, Apple Daily
Police (inset) arrest a suspect in an attempted extortion involving staged motor accidents. A Hong Kong tour bus, which was stopped three times by a motorcycle gang, arrived at its destination under police escort. Photo: Chinayaozhai.com, Apple Daily

Alarm up over mainland tour accident racket

Hong Kong tour operators are being warned against a gang of mainlanders who have been staging fake accidents in an extortion racket.

A tourist bus operated by Hong Thai Travel Services was stopped three times by motorcycle-riding men who demanded money after one of them pretended to have been struck by the vehicle, Apple Daily reported Monday.

In each incident, which took place on May 24, the suspects left at the sight of policemen.

No money was paid, the report said.

Another Hong Hong tourist bus was stopped by a woman who threw a dead chicken under the vehicle and demanded 10,000 yuan (US$1,607) from the driver. 

The incidents began when a busload of Hong Kong tourists traveling to Nangang Millennium Yaozhai Village in Guangdong province was flagged by a man who claimed his companion had been hit by the bus.

He demanded 800 yuan from the driver and the tour guide and raised the amount to 1,000 yuan after three other men showed up.

The suspects fled when police arrived and the bus went on only to encounter the same gang two more times.

A suspect was later arrested and the bus reached its destination under police escort.

No passenger was injured, the report said, citing a Hong Thai spokesman.

Lam Chi-ting, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Industry Employees General Union, said it’s rare that a tour bus is targeted for extortion.

Still, he said passengers should remain alert to any disturbance and stay on the bus until they reach their final destination.

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TL/AC/RA

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