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The Monetary Authority today alerted the public to a press release issued by Octopus Cards regarding a phishing email, fraudulent websites and mobile apps. People are advised to be vigilant against a phishing email sent from the account do-not-reply@bling[.]com[.]br with links to unauthorised websites which request personal and credit card information. The public should also be aware of suspicious websites and social media posts carrying names similar to Octopus Cards as well as relevant fraudulent apps. The company has reported the case to the authority.  Anyone who has provided personal information or account credentials, or who has conducted any financial transactions, through or in response to the email, websites or apps should contact Octopus Cards at 2266 2222 and report to Police, or call Police’s Anti-Deception Coordination Centre at 18222.
Police today conducted an exercise to enhance the response capabilities of the force, the MTR Corporation (MTRC) and various government departments in handling large-scale incidents in the railway system. The exercise was carried out in collaboration with the MTRC, the Fire Services Department (FSD), the Auxiliary Medical Service and St John Ambulance, with over 1,000 personnel taking part. It simulated a train incident at MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station involving multiple casualties. Some passengers left the train through the rear detrainment ramp and walked along the track tunnel to the platform at Jordan Station. Police officers and emergency service personnel rushed to the scene and worked with MTRC staff on the evacuation of passengers and rescue operations. A triage station, set up at the scene to handle casualties, deployed a patient tagging system to keep track of the situation. Police officers, MTRC staff and FSD personnel then entered the tunnel to conduct initial investigations and search for casualties. Officers from the Electrical & Mechanical Services Department and the Transport Department were present to observe the drill. Police said the force will maintain close contact with all stakeholders and conduct regular inter-departmental exercises, adding that it is well prepared to safeguard the lives and safety of citizens in all situations.
Police today appealed to the public to be vigilant against a fraudulent Facebook account set up under the name “Raymond Siu” and using a photo of the Commissioner of Police. The force clarified that Commissioner of Police Siu Chak-yee had not set up the account. It said someone was impersonating the commissioner, possibly to conduct illegal activities. Emphasising that the case will be followed up thoroughly, the force has initiated an investigation. The Cyber Security & Technology Crime Bureau is also looking into the matter. Police stressed that the Internet is not an unreal world beyond the law, adding most of the laws enacted to prevent crimes in the real world are in principle applicable to the online world. It reminded members of the public to act legally and responsibly when using the Internet.
The Government today raised the outbound travel alert for Israel to red in view of the latest developments there. It advised residents who intend to visit Israel to adjust their travel plans and avoid non-essential travel. Those already there should monitor the situation, exercise caution, attend to their personal safety and avoid protests and large gatherings of people. Due to the volatile security situation, the Government also reminded residents to avoid all travel to Gaza and its vicinity as well as areas along the border with Syria and Lebanon. The Security Bureau will continue to closely monitor the situation in Israel and issue updates through the media, the bureau's mobile app and its outbound travel alert webpage. In response to the latest situation in Israel and Palestine, the Hong Kong Immigration Department has immediately contacted the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (OCMFA), the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the State of Israel, the Office of the People's Republic of China to the State of Palestine and the Travel Industry Authority to understand the situation.  As at 6pm today, the department has received enquiries from 17 Hong Kong residents. Five of them have left safely and are on their way back to Hong Kong. The department said it will continue to maintain close liaison with the remaining 12 Hong Kong residents and provide information and assistance regarding their itinerary and flight arrangements as appropriate. It also noted that a tour group of 30 Hong Kong residents is currently in Israel and some members of the group will return to Hong Kong early. It will maintain close liaison with the group and render assistance according to their wishes. Hong Kong residents in Israel may call the 24-hour hotline of the department’s Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit at (852) 1868, contact the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the State of Israel at (972) 3-5459520, or the Office of the People's Republic of China to the State of Palestine at (970) 595776516 for assistance.
With Typhoon Koinu approaching Hong Kong, Acting Secretary for Security Michael Cheuk chaired an interdepartmental meeting this afternoon to co-ordinate preparatory work and faciltate prompt responses to the storm's onset. Representatives from 14 bureaus and departments attended the meeting. They were briefed by a Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) representative on the latest assessment of Koinu and reported on their respective precautionary measures and contingency plans. The Government said departments had made good preparations to cope with any adverse conditions and will closely monitor high-risk locations to facilitate prompt responses. Information will also be disseminated to the public as soon as possible. Participants also reviewed lessons from the challenges posed by Super Typhoon Saola and the low pressure associated with the remnant of Tropical Cyclone Haikui in late August and early September. Contingency plans were prepared following assessments of those weather events. The Security Bureau (SB) will, as in the past, activate the Emergency Monitoring & Support Centre before the Gale or Storm Signal No. 8 is issued in order to co-ordinate efforts and resource deployment across various departments. Representatives attending the interdepartmental meeting came from the SB, the Development Bureau, the Transport & Logistics Bureau, the Buildings Department, the Civil Engineering & Development Department, the Drainage Services Department, the Fire Services Department, the Home Affairs Department, the HKO, Police, the Highways Department, the Information Services Department, the Marine Department and the Transport Department.
In September, when the Black Rainstorm Warning Signal was in effect, two stretches of Shek O Road near Lan Nai Wan were hit by landslides. One of the landslides completely covered both traffic lanes, damaging a 10-metre-long wall at the roadside, while at the other location a 20-metre-long section along one lane collapsed. The landslides and road collapse led to the complete closure of Shek O Road, the only route for vehicles in and out of Shek O, resulting in residents being cut off. Speedy repairsThe Civil Engineering & Development Department’s Geotechnical Engineering Office and the Highways Department swiftly carried out emergency repair works to restore access. They cleared debris, reinforced slopes with shotcrete, and placed rockfill into the collapsed section to form a supporting embankment. Highways Department Senior Maintenance Engineer Benny Hui explained that the huge amount of rockfill material required for the repairs exceeded the stock held by the department’s contractors. “As such, the Civil Engineering & Development Department specially operated their fill bank round the clock to supply rockfills to us,” he said. “We also mobilised other contractors to provide us with construction plants and vehicles so that we could keep our works going continuously overnight and speed up the repairs.” It was estimated that the works would take two weeks, but with the co-operation of various Government departments, as well as contractors, single-lane traffic was restored in about two days. As for the resumption of two-lane traffic, Mr Hui said a draft plan has been formulated and a consultant deployed to work on a detailed design. “The Geotechnical Engineering Office suggested the installation of mini-piles and making the temporary slope less deep so as to enhance the slope’s stability,” he outlined. The design is expected to be completed this month, and the works will commence afterwards. Mr Hui added that the department will begin long-term protection works on the slopes in 2025. Smooth evacuation Following the heavy rain, the Transport & Logistics Bureau co-ordinated road repairs, while the Security Bureau was in charge of delivering supplies and evacuating over 100 Shek O residents. Since there are no pier or berthing facilities in Shek O, it was impossible for fireboats and police launches to approach the shore to carry out the evacuations. For the first time, the Fire Services Department deployed a pontoon, a piece of equipment typically used by firefighters to board small boats, as a solution. “The most feasible way was to make use of the pontoon at the North Point Fireboat Station,” explained Fire Services Department Senior Station Officer Ng Chung-yin. “It allowed residents to board speedboats and then transfer to fireboats for evacuation.”   Fire Services Department Station Officer Luk Chun-yin added that the pontoon did not require a lot of assembly. After selecting a suitable seabed location where speedboats could get close to the beach, the firefighters checked to make sure the boats were not at risk from reefs, and secured the pontoon in about half an hour. “The pontoon should not be affected by tide changes,” said Mr Luk. “The divers used ropes and lead weights weighing over 25kg to secure the pontoon on the seabed, and anchors were set on each side of the pontoon to enhance the stability of the pontoon.” The multi-departmental task force consisted of members from the Home & Youth Affairs Bureau, the Transport & Logistics Bureau, the Labour & Welfare Bureau, the Security Bureau, and the Development Bureau, all of whom assisted Shek O residents in various ways to address their immediate needs.
The Government today strongly condemned an assault case involving the use of a knife outside the Central Government Offices (CGO) resulting in injuries to CGO security staff. Police received a report this morning that a male security guard was attacked by a man with a knife on a footbridge outside the CGO. Officers rushed to the scene and found a 57-year-old male security guard had sustained a hand injury. Another male security staff member, aged 60, sustained a leg injury while trying to stop the suspect. They were sent to Queen Mary Hospital for medical treatment. Police arrested a 17-year-old man for wounding at scene and he is being detained for enquiries. The Government said Hong Kong is a society underpinned by the rule of law, adding that no violent behaviour will be tolerated and all illegal acts will be followed up to this end. Following the incident, the Administration Wing has instructed CGO security staff to continue to stay vigilant, while Police have stepped up patrols in the vicinity of the complex to ensure the safety of staff, visitors and members of the public. The Government extended its sympathy to the injured security staff and wished them a speedy recovery.
Police today announced the establishment of a joint working group with the Securities & Futures Commission (SFC) to enhance collaboration in monitoring and investigating illegal activities related to Virtual Asset Trading Platforms. (VATPs). Formed after a high-level meeting of the two parties on September 28, the working group comprises representatives from Police’s Commercial Crime Bureau, Cyber Security & Technology Crime Bureau, Financial Intelligence & Investigations Bureau, and the SFC's Enforcement Division and Intermediaries Division. The working group will implement a mechanism to assess the risks of suspicious VATPs, enhance co-ordination and collaboration in related investigations, and facilitate the sharing of information on suspicious activities and breaches of VATPs. Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Eve Chung noted that the implementation of the new platform is instrumental to fast-tracking vital intelligence exchange and joint collaboration to cope with the challenges arising from VATPs so as to better protect the general public. Securities & Futures Commission Executive Director of Enforcement Christopher Wilson supplemented that the commission looks forward to closer collaboration with Police in deploying expertise and resources to combat problematic VATPs and protect the interest of investors.
Hongkong Post today appealed to the public to be alert to a fraudulent Facebook page that purports to have been issued the department. Hongkong Post clarified that it has no connection with the page, named “HongkongPost - Parcel distribution”, and stressed that it does not post embedded hyperlinks on social media pages, or send them via SMS messages or emails, for the collection of payments or personal information. The page has been reported to Police for investigation. Members of the public are asked to call the Hongkong Post enquiry hotline, on 2921 2222, or email [email protected], to verify the authenticity of any Hongkong Post-branded social media page about which they have doubts.
Police arrested 6,400 people and seized cash, dangerous drugs and illicit goods amounting to $410 million during an anti-crime joint operation with their Guangdong and Macau counterparts. Codenamed “THUNDERBOLT 2023”, the tripartite operation was conducted from June 12 to September 21. During the operation, Hong Kong Police conducted searches with various departments at about 3,100 locations, neutralising gambling dens, vice establishments, unlicensed bars and loan-sharks companies. A total of 6,400 people, aged between 10 and 85, were arrested for triad-related or organised offences, from wounding and blackmail to trafficking in dangerous drugs and money laundering. Among the arrestees, 849 were Mainlanders and 471 were non-ethnic Chinese. Hong Kong Police also seized $12 million in cash suspected to be crime proceeds as well as dangerous drugs worth more than $350 million. The intelligence-led enforcement operation was aimed at combating illegal activities of triad societies and organised crime syndicates, neutralising cross-boundary crimes, and interdicting the criminals’ sources of income.