Hong Kong police are investigating whether someone had organized or committed cross-boundary crimes in a case that involved 12 Hong Kong residents who entered the mainland illegally in August.
In a press release issued on Saturday evening, police said they received on Friday a reply from Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department regarding the above case. The Guangdong authorities stated in the reply that Guangdong Coast Guard intercepted a boat suspected of crossing the boundary illegally at around 9 am on Aug 23. Officers of the Coast Guard discovered 12 Hong Kong residents on board and they were arrested for the offense of crossing the boundary illegally. After initial investigation, Yantian Branch of the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau detained the 12 suspects for further investigation.
An investigation by the Yantian Branch revealed that the 12 people boarded on a speedboat arranged by a smuggling syndicate in the Po Toi O pier in Sai Kung, Hong Kong at around 7 am on Aug 23, according to the mainland authorities. The speedboat was driven by one of the suspects.
"They planned to flee to Taiwan via mainland marine waters in order to evade criminal responsibility in Hong Kong. They have paid the syndicate certain fee before boarding the speedboat in Hong Kong for the smuggling arrangements," according to information from the mainland authorities.
Currently, Yantian Branch of the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau is still investigating the case and will submit the case to the Yantian People's Procuratorate in Shenzhen for the arrest approval according to the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China and Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China.
Hong Kong police said according to the information provided by Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department and after reviewing Marine Department's vessel traffic services system and Marine Police's digital radar security system, it was suspected that the speedboat departed from Po Toi O at around 7 am on Aug 23, and entered mainland waters through southeastern side of the boundary of Hong Kong waters at around 7:30 am on the same day.