Date
30 May 2017
Police display items related to explosives manufacture after a raid on a building Sunday night. Some persons with links to National Independent Party (whose Facebook page is seen inset) have been detained. Photos: Reuters, Metro Daily
Police display items related to explosives manufacture after a raid on a building Sunday night. Some persons with links to National Independent Party (whose Facebook page is seen inset) have been detained. Photos: Reuters, Metro Daily

Arrests reach 10 in alleged bomb-making plot by radical group

The police have arrested a total of ten people so far in an alleged bomb-making plot after a raid on an abandoned building in the city Sunday night.

A 58-year-old man was detained as he was trying to cross the border into the mainland at Lo Wu last night, reports said.

Authorities said earlier that they had taken into custody nine people for “conspiracy to manufacture explosives” after a raid on a former ATV film studio in Sai Kung district. 

Some of the ten detainees, who include six men and four women, have admitted to being members of the National Independent Party (NIP), a local radical group, Apple Daily reported.

NIP set up a Facebook page in January and claimed in a posting last month that it “aims to combine the pro-independence groups in Taiwan and Hong Kong into a cross-territory force”.

In the Facebook page that was deleted Monday, the party stated that their members had joined anti-parallel trading protests earlier this year and their next moves will be to oppose construction of the third airport runway and passage of the government’s political reform proposal “by all means necessary”.

Hong Kong’s lawmakers are set to debate the controversial political reform bill on Wednesday ahead of a vote.

Two of the arrested bomb-making plot suspects, who are said to bear the surnames Cheng and Chan, are believed to be key members of the NIP.

Both were arrested earlier this year during the “Recover Yuen Long” anti-parallel trading protests, according to the report. They were charged with possessing assault weapons but were released on bail.

Court hearings on their cases are set to resume in November. The duo has been banned from entering Yuen Long until the judicial proceedings are over. 

Cheng, 29, was a construction worker before he was injured in a traffic accident. His social media account shows that he is enthusiastic about riding motorbikes and playing war games.

Chan, 33, is an unemployed PolyU graduate. It is said that he once revealed that he was a mercenary in France. He was said to have been convicted in 2010 for possession of explosives.

Among the other detainees was a 22-year-old Eurasian who lives in Sai Kung with his Italian father and Chinese mother. It is believed that he returned to Hong Kong after studying in the UK last year.

Apple Daily cited sources as saying that the Security Wing of Hong Kong Police Force has begun background checks on several people after finding that they had mingled with pro-democracy demonstrators during the Occupy movement last year.

The suspects were believed to have carried attack weapons and explosive materials.

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TL/AC/RC

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