Police-club arson plot foiled

Top News | Staff reporter 26 May 2020

Protesters shattered the windows of an I.T. fashion store in what appears to have been a bid to distract police so attackers could burn the Police Officers' Club, investigators said.

But the tactic failed and 40 people were grabbed close to the Police Officers Club, now under construction in Causeway Bay. They were among 194 arrested on Sunday.

It was about 3.30pm when black-clad protesters smashed windows of the I.T. chain owned by Sham Kar-wai, the husband of actress Chingmy Yau Suk-ching.

A golden statue was also taken from the shop window and used in a barricade.

It was said Sham was also targeted because he was at a dinner this year with the police commissioner, Chris Tang Ping-keung. The idea was to leave other protesters with an opportunity to torch the police club as a symbolic challenge to the force.

But with only one road providing access to the club, officers said, they managed to block the route and collar the whole group involved in an arson attack that failed to materialize.

The club is intended for officers of the rank of inspector and above.

The previous club premises were demolished in 2015 to make way for the construction of the Sha Tin to Central rail link, specifically for a ventilation facility to be built adjacent to the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter.

The club is being rebuilt in the same location as the previous premises.

It was supposed to cost HK$260 million, but the latest price tag has surged to HK$650 million due to cost overruns. Construction is expected to finish next year.

According to building plans, the club will include an infinity pool, jacuzzi, poolside bar and a range of sports facilities including golf simulators.

During the club's reconstruction the MTR Corp spent another HK$300 million of the link's construction budget to renovate the Police Sports and Recreation Club at Prince Edward to provide affected officers with alternative facilities as a seamless shift to a new club was impossible.

Those renovations started in December 2013 and ended in February 2015.

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