Police seize bomb chemicals, arrest 17

Local | 9 Mar 2020 7:12 pm

Police today gathered the media to again go over what they said was the seizure of tons of chemicals destined to be used to make bombs, but refused to answer questions about officers' behavior at protests yesterday, RTHK reports.

At a press conference reminiscent of the force's daily briefings during the height of the anti-government protests, Cable TV complained that a riot officer had injured one of their reporters by knocking her to the ground with his shield in Tseung Kwan O.

The TV journalist at the briefing asked whether the force would follow up on the incident, while RTHK also asked about the police's treatment of the media yesterday, with some reporters pepper-sprayed and others held for searches while trying to work.

But the senior officers said they were not there to discuss such issues and the media could seek a response later from the force's public relations bureau.

Instead, the police turned their attention back onto what they had already described yesterday as a "tragedy averted".

The force made 17 arrests – 12 male and five female – over the weekend in a series of raids, and said they had seized "significant quantities of homemade explosives ready to be used", as well as some 2,500 kilograms of chemicals "ready to be manufactured into yet more homemade explosives".

Officers conceded that these chemicals could have been destined for uses other than terrorism, but reiterated that they believed the materials were for "bomb plots".

The police said they will be conducting counter-terrorism drills with other government departments because "local terrorism" is "gaining steam".

Assistant police commissioner Yuen Yuk-kin said the force will speak to other officials to see if there is a need to increase Hong Kong's terrorism threat level, which is now at moderate.

"We will closely monitor the terrorism threat facing Hong Kong and continue our intelligence gathering," he said.

Hong Kong has seen a number of bomb hoaxes in the past two months, as well as a real – albeit minor – blast that shattered a hospital toilet, an "unexploded device" in Shenzhen Bay, and a "partially detonated" device on an MTR train that caused no damage.

Senior Superintendent of Organized Crime and Triad Bureau, Li Kwai-wah, said a district councilor repeatedly obstructed them when arresting a male suspect at Kwong Fuk Estate in Tai Po despite they have a search warrant.



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