Two families in the northern New Territories are homeless after their tin houses were mysteriously bulldozed while they were out working.
They came home to flattened sheets where their dwellings once stood in Kwu Tung village after being told by neighbors about the incident, news website hk01.com reports.
Police are treating the case as criminal damage.
Witnesses said a bulldozer came out of nowhere early Monday morning and started leveling five houses.
The operator stopped when he realized he was being photographed.
The two families said they have lived on the land for up to 50 years and have applied to the courts for adverse possession of the property.
Adverse possession is a legal doctrine that allows a person in possession of land owned by someone else to acquire a valid title to the property after having lived there for a certain period.
A homeowner said she had been approached by some people regarding resuming possession of the land on which her house was built but nothing was agreed.
Henderson Land Group, one of the biggest landlords in the New Territories, denied any involvement after some villagers linked it to the incident.
The land is registered to Wise Treasure Development Corp., an offshore company, hk01.com said, citing its own investigation.
Barrister Albert Luk said a land owner has the rights to the land but not the structures on it.
He said those responsible are liable to prosecution for intentional criminal damage.
Meanwhile, New Territories East legislator Alvin Yeung said he will raise the issue in the Legislative Council.
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