Category: Prisons

Tong Fuk prison guards arrested for smuggling porn, phones

Two guards at the Tong Fuk Correctional Institution have been arrested for allegedly smuggling contraband.

The two illegally brought into the prison mobile phones, cigarettes and USB sticks containing pornographic photos and videos, Oriental Daily reports.

ICAC and the Correctional Services Department carried out a joint investigation into the case and arrested the pair on October 23.

In another incident at the medium-security jail last week, a man imprisoned for his role in the 2016 Mongkok riot was attacked in a prison workshop.

The 34-year-old man victim, Lo Kinman, was taken to the hospital for assessment. He had been sentenced to seven-year term two years ago for rioting – one of the longest sentences handed out to demonstrators in Hong Kong’s spate of protests over the last six years.

The alleged assailant was a 32-year-old Vietnamese national serving time for immigration offences.

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Real estate body backs Guishan idea with bridge to Lantau

The real estate industry has climbed aboard the Guishan bandwagon, calling for reclamation that it says will house 800,000 and connect to Hong Kong via a bridge to Lantau.

In a report issued this week the Hong Kong Real Property Federation has called for joint development of Guishan and neighbouring islands by Hong Kong and Guangdong governments.

It is echoing calls by pro-government politicians, who have called for the island to be reclaimed for housing, a freight terminal and other commercial uses.

Guishan Port today with Macau in distance (Photo: Zhuhai City Govt)

Guishan is about 4 km off Lantau’s western end, almost in the centre of the Pearl River mouth.

It is a part of Zhuhai city but, like other advocates. the federation calls for it to be leased to Hong Kong in the same way that Hengqin island on the west bank of the estuary is leased to Macau.

The HKRPF study proposes reclaiming Guishan and neighbouring clusters to the east and west, creating a total of 70 sq km that can house 800,000 people.

Guishan and neighbouring islands

As with other advocate, it claims the island will be only a 30-minute ferry ride to Central or Tsim Sha Tsui, both roughly 40 km away. The current 15 km trip between Mui Wo and Central is 30 minutes.

The report says Guishan is the “centre of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area” and is a logical site to re-house the Kwai Chung container terminal, backed by new road and railway connections to Lantau Island.

In a reprise of the ‘super-prison’ idea from the early 2000s, it also recommends shifting Hong Kong jails to Guishan and the current sites used for housing.

Guishan satellite view (Photo: Google Earth)

The group believes Dazhizhou and Xiaozhizhou islands to the southeast can become sites of “cultural innovation” and education, and Qingzhou and Sanjiaoshan to west for “technology and innovation.”

“Guishan Island is the best place to start if we want to develop new industries, attract global talents, improve the living environment of people, and to build greater industrial zones and industrial chains,” it said.

Passive HK govt waiting to hear from Beijing on new Lantau reclamation

The Hong Kong government has taken a passive stance toward calls for a huge reclamation off south Lantau, with Development Secretary Michael Wong saying it won’t commit either way without a “concrete proposal.”

Replying to a Legco question from pro-government legislator Alice Mak last week, Wong said he was aware of discussions about creating land for Hong Kong through reclamation in mainland China waters.

But he said the government would not take a position on suggestions – mostly from DAB politicians – to reclaim land around the island of Guishan, in mainland waters about 5km off Lantau’s most southerly point.

“In the absence of a more concrete proposal, the government is not in a position to make specific response at the moment,” Wong said.

The Guishan scheme is reportedly under consideration by Beijing as a means of adding to the land supply and helping kick-start the Hong Kong economy.

But Wong’s reply suggests that the government is either waiting for mainland officials to come up with a proposal, or that it would not make any move until given some direction by Beijing.

Wong adds that the government is open to “suggestions that could help relieve the land shortage,” but also makes it clear that it has no thought of taking action itself.

This continues a pattern seen in other major public works such as the HK$119 billion HK-Macau bridge, the HK$83 billion West Kowloon rail terminus and the HK$624 billion Lantau Tomorrow Vision, all driven strongly by Beijing.

The Guishan reclamation scheme was raised by DAB members during the recent NPC session in Beijing.

Pro-Beijing politicians and others since offered multiple ideas on how Guishan could be developed.

At a recent roundtable discussion, Leung Che-cheung, Legco member for New Territories West, which includes Lantau, pointed out that the unpopular Lantau Tomorrow scheme has not even been funded and would take at least a decade to complete, Ming Pao reported.

He said Guishan could provide 1,000 hectares of land, enough to accommodate 200,000 households and house new industries.

Tony Tse, the Legco member for the architecture sector, said Guishan could be a site for public housing and university facilities and prisons. Its position in the centre of the Greater Bay Area meant the Kwai Chung container terminal could be relocated there.

Despite its location far from any urban area, Guishan advocates have not spent much time discussing transport arrangements.

Leung said the island would be just “20 minutes” away from Central by high-speed ferry. He also called for construction of a connecting bridge from Guishan to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, 20km away.

 

Brawls break out in Tong Fuk prison over ‘illicit activities’

Two brawls broke out in Tong Fuk Correctional Institution earlier this month, causing injuries to an inmate and a prison guard.

The fights were connected to “illicit activities” in the medium security jail, the Correctional Services Department said.

The brawls, involving 13 prisoners and an unspecified number of staff, took place first in the laundry workshop and later in a dining hall on February 5.

Prison officers had received intelligence in late January about planned illegal activities and were on alert for the violence, the CSD said.

One prison officer suffered injuries to his shoulder and wrist and a prisoner sustained head and hand injuries in the brawls.

Both were transferred to hospital for further treatment.

Twelves prisoners involved in the brawls and suspected of involvement in illegal activity were separated and put under investigation.

The prison atmosphere was “stable” following the incidents, which had been reported to the police for further inquiry, CSD said.

Photo: Creative Commons

Convicted democracy activist Nathan Law arrives at Tong Fuk prison

Nathan Law, former legislator and one of three high-profile democracy activists jailed last week, will serve his sentence at the Tong Fuk Correctional Institution.

Law was transferred to the medium-security male prison this morning from Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre at 9:30am, HK01 reported. He appeared calm and nodded to reporters as he boarded the prison van, the paper said.

Law, 24, last year became the youngest person to be elected to Legco, but was one of four legislators expelled in July under retrospectively-revised rules over oath-taking.

He is to serve eight months in jail for his role in the 2014 Umbrella Movement. He and fellow activist Joshua Wong were originally sentenced to community service for unlawful assembly, but prosecutors appealed and prison sentences were imposed.

Wong, the high-profile leader of the young pro-democracy campaigners, will serve his six-month sentence at Pik Uk Correctional Institution at Clearwater Bay until his 21st birthday in October, when he will be transferred to an adult prison.

The third activist, 26-year-old Alex Chow, former general secretary of Hong Kong Federation of Students, will serve seven months at Pik Uk Prison, a maximum security prison next to the juvenile facility housing Wong.

Since 2014, the government has brought 39 court cases against 26 democracy activists.

Photo (top): Nathan Law boarding prison van (Source: HK01 video)