Weapons charge despite trap fail

Local | Jane Cheung 12 Dec 2019

Jane Cheung

The recipient of a package containing steel balls and a slingshot addressed to him has been charged with attempted possession of offensive weapons despite his refusal to acknowledge receipt when the package was delivered by an undercover police officer disguised as a courier.

Tang Lik-ho, 24, was granted bail and given a curfew order by Fan Ling acting principal magistrate Don So Man-lung yesterday.

The case came to light after customs found an overseas package containing 200 steel balls and a slingshot with two rubber bands, as well as 3M gas filter facial masks.

They alerted the police, who then sent an undercover officer posing as a courier from United Parcel Service to contact Tang.

On the phone, they agreed to meet outside a McDonald's in Tai Wo Estate in Tai Po on November 9 for Tang to pick up the package.

When Tang arrived, he asked that the "courier" show his staff card.

Tang refused to accept the package or sign for it when the undercover officer claimed to have left his card in the van.

The undercover officer then revealed his identity and arrested Tang.

"I received a phone call asking me to sign for a package," Tang said in court yesterday. "But I never signed for it."

So approved the prosecution's request to adjourn the case to January 22 pending further police investigations.

Tang's lawyer said his client does not have a criminal record and works as a part-time clerk at a home for the elderly.

The lawyer said Tang refused to take or sign for the package and there is insufficient evidence to prosecute him, as he applied for Tang to be released on HK$2,000 bail.

None of Tang's relatives appeared in the public gallery yesterday, prompting So to ask why his family was absent.

"Do you live alone? Why aren't any of your relatives here?" So asked, to which the lawyer said Tang was only notified of the hearing yesterday morning and had no time to contact his family.

"I'm worried no one can remind him he is under curfew," So said.

The lawyer said Tang lives with his parents and elder brother.

So allowed Tang to be released on HK$10,000 bail. Tang was also given a curfew order for between 10pm and 5am and has to report to a police station every day.

He also has to live at the address he provided and is not allowed to leave Hong Kong.

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