War declared on cold-blooded smugglers

Top News | Jane Cheung 28 Sep 2021

The city's top cop has declared an all-out-war on "cold-blooded" sea smugglers who caused the death of a woman officer during an anti-smuggling operation at Sha Chau on Saturday.

The body of marine region senior inspector Lam Yuen-yee, 37, was found by citizens near the shore at Yi O on Lantau Island at 8am yesterday, two days after she fell into the sea when a smugglers' speedboat rammed her vessel.

Lam's body was carried to the pier at the Marine Police Tai Lam Chung Base, where about 30 of her family members and 30 marine police colleagues cried and hugged each other.

Her family boarded a police launch and held a ritual at Lung Kwu Tan to bid farewell to Lam.

Commissioner of Police Raymond Siu Chak-yee was in the fleet of launches and joined in the ritual with Lam's colleagues in speedboats.

Lam's body was transferred to Fu Shan Public Mortuary. It is understood the government will hold an official funeral service with full honors for Lam and arrange her burial at Gallant Garden at Wo Hop Shek Cemetery in Fan Ling.

Speaking to reporters at the marine police west divisional headquarters in Tai Lam, Siu said he was deeply saddened by the death of Lam and vowed the force will spare no effort in pursuing "cold blooded" smugglers.

He said Lam and three colleagues were on a police speedboat chasing after a smuggler speedboat near Sha Chau on Saturday morning when the smugglers slammed into the marine boat, causing it to flip over. All four police officers on board fell into the sea.

"Although all of them were wearing life jackets, they were in grave danger. They were once trapped in the flipped-over speedboat. Two of them managed to swim to the surface while marine officers coming from behind immediately jumped into the sea to rescue another officer from the speedboat," Siu said.

The three male officers - a sergeant, a foreign senior inspector and a constable - were rescued and sent to Tuen Mun Hospital in stable condition.

But Lam, the commander of the unit, was missing.

Siu said the force immediately deployed the Fire Services Department and Government Flying Service on a rescue mission for Lam, while the Marine Department activated a coordination center.

He said the region was close to mainland waters with swift currents. Authorities also sought help from mainland police and the marine department to join the search.

"Marine police duties are very harsh and dangerous. In this incident, the four officers have shown great courage. To maintain law and order and combat crime, they were fearless even when facing cold-blooded smugglers," he said.

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