Five Chilean tourists have been arrested on theft and pickpocketing charges after a woman complained that 130,000 renminbi (US$19,384) was stolen from her on an MTR train. Police later uncovered cash, jewelry and gold from one of the suspects.
The woman said she put 300,000 renminbi in a plastic bag after leaving a currency exchange shop in Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island and some was missing when her train got to Causeway Bay, with the bag slashed. She told police she had been distracted by a foreign man coughing near her.
Footage from a surveillance camera showed a man closely watching the woman as she changed her money.
Police were able to track a gang believed responsible for a number of thefts after a jewellery exhibitor’s bag was stolen in Wan Chai by four people on Wednesday. One was caught and a search revealed jewelry worth HK$4,000 (US$509) and a mobile phone valued at HK$5,000 (US$637).
Four other people were arrested during subsequent raids in North Point on Hong Kong Island and Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon, with police seizing HK$200,000 (US$25,481) worth of foreign currency, gold valued at HK$50,000 (US$6,370) and jewelry worth about HK$10,000 (US$1,274) in a suitcase belonging to a 23-year-old man.
The Chileans, aged between 26 and 50, arrived in Hong Kong in the period from January 31 to February 16, Sing Tao Daily reported.
Earlier in the week three other Chileans were arrested over their alleged involvement in at least five theft cases.