Hong Kong’s police force is coming under fresh scrutiny following multiple cases of law enforcement officers breaking the law themselves.
On Tuesday, a court sentenced a 22-year-old police officer to 80 hours of community service after finding him guilty of selling a fake Rolex watch via an online forum.
A judge at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court ordered the punishment after the police officer admitted to a charge of selling goods with a forged trademark.
According to Apple Daily, the policeman sold a fake Rolex for HK$2,400 to an undercover customs officer in July last year.
During the court hearing, the policeman’s attorney sought leniency for his client, suggesting that he be just asked to pay a fine.
However, a judge didn’t accept the proposal as he felt that a fine wouldn’t be enough given the serious nature of the case.
Meanwhile, in another case that has come to light, a 44-year-old female police officer is in the dock for a shoplifting offense.
Sing Tao Daily reports that the policewoman, a person surnamed Wong, has been accused of trying to steal from a store at a Sau Mau Ping mall last October.
According to the report, Wong had put mosquito repellant stickers, a bottle of mosquito repellant, a bottle of XO sauce and two boxes of lozenges in her bag without paying for the items.
The items were said to be worth HK$234 in total.
A undercover security guard testified in the court that she saw the policewoman — who was off duty at that time and not in uniform — put the items in a recycle bag instead of the shopping cart which was empty.
After putting the items in the recycle bag, Wong put that bag into another nylon bag, the guard told the court.
According to the store employee, she confronted Wong as she was walking out of the shop without paying.
The policewoman then made some excuses and said she was willing to pay back the money.
During the court hearing, the defendant’s attorney claimed that the policewoman had been ill and that she was under the influence of medications, which led to the unfortunate incident.
The lawyer claimed that his client had been in a hurry to head home to look after her mother who was unwell.
A phone text message from a colleague about a person’s tuberculosis condition also distracted her, the lawyer said.
In yet another case that has harmed the image of the police, a policeman has been accused of repeated sexual harassment and attacks on a female colleague, Sing Tao noted.
According to the paper, a police station sergeant, identified as Choi Tak-cheung, misbehaved with a colleague in May to June last year.
The defendant, who is set to retire next year, has denied all charges. He claimed to have touched the colleague’s waist just to ensure that she can sit properly and not get hurt.
He also claimed that he would frequently engage in mock fights with the female officer. The mock fights, which involve physical contact, may have led to some misunderstanding, Choi said.
Prosecution witness officer Wong Lai-kwan, meanwhile, told the court that the defendant often made indecent jokes at work.
Choi admitted to cracking jokes, but said that it was just his way of communicating with colleagues.
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