Police launch probe after colorful graffiti found on MTR train

March 13, 2018 13:35
A colorful graffiti was found spray-painted on the left side of an MTR East Rail train at the Lo Wu station on Monday morning. Photo: HKEJ/Internet

Police have launched an investigation after a full-color graffiti was found on the exterior of an MTR East Rail train on Monday, Apple Daily reports.

A spokesperson for the railway operator said one of its staff at Lo Wu Station spotted the spray-paint work on the left side of the train at 7:15 a.m. Monday as it was about to leave for Hung Hom Station, and notified the operations control center.

Given that it was rush hour and the graffiti was considered not to pose any danger, MTR decided to let the train pull out of the station as scheduled to avoid any inconvenience to passengers.

When the train stopped at Sha Tin Station, all of the passengers aboard were asked to disembark and take the next train, and the train with graffiti was moved to a spare platform at the Mong Kok East station before it was later taken to the depot for cleaning.

Soon after receiving a report from MTR, the Sha Tin Police District formed a team to investigate the case, which was listed as criminal damage.

In recent years, some foreign artists have been sneaking into MTR depots and stations to do graffiti on trains while filming the process, an unnamed source told the newspaper.

This has prompted the train operator to order increased patrols and enhanced security at its depots and stations.

But despite having more security cameras, higher barbed-wire fences and better lighting, the facilities were still being targeted by these "street artists" who seem to find excitement and accomplishment in having done "artwork" in public places such as MTR trains.

The train in question was parked at the unroofed portion of the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse station the night before, so the culprits could have entered the area and did the graffiti on the train during that period, Apple Daily said, citing the source.

It was not the first time that an MTR train had fallen prey to graffiti artists.

The newspaper cited the case of an American couple who visited Hong Kong three times between 2010 and 2015 for the purpose of doing graffiti on MTR trains. Videos they took and later posted on YouTube show them sneaking into the MTR Kowloon Bay and Chai Wan depots and spray-painting graffiti on the bodies of several trains.

MTR confirmed that it had reported three such incidents to the police.

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