Authorities Turn Blind Eyes to Smugglers, but CANNOT Tolerate Elderly Make a Living

More incidents to indicate that the authorities turn blind eyes to smuggling activities but cannot tolerate / don’t care old Hong Kong making a living. This times, it is about the hawker control team under Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, HKSAR after the hawker night market incident.

It happened today, 2014/04/29. An old woman makes a living by selling miscellaneous items but was charged by the hawker control team.  One photo caption (by Yue Sze Kan @ Facebook) says:

There is a place so-called an international metropolis!
Urinating and defecating in public will be tolerated!
Illegal begging will be tolerated!
Smuggling will be tolerated!
But an elderly street hawker cannot be tolerated, and must be repelled immediately.
This place is called Hong Kong

Source: Ryan Chan (陳葦岳) @ Facebook, published via House News

The hawker controller steps on the belonging of the old woman. Source: Ryan Chan (陳葦岳) @ Facebook, Published via House News

The incident was reported by newspaper, such as: Appledaily and House News.

Back to Sheung Shui (of course, otherwise some readers will say this article is out of the scope of this blog), another old woman makes her living by selling local snack (茶果, steamed mochi?)  in the alley of Shek Wu Market (covered in this blog) but has no business because she is surrounded by Smugglers shops.  The red words say:

Sheung Shui has already become a smuggling town. Now that has extended to side streets and alleys. An old lady selling Hakka snack finds no business because she is surrounded by new smugglers’ shops.

Photo and Text: Jon Yuen San (莊元生) Effect: Bear Photo Production

 

 

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A Cultural Day to Support Hawker Night Market

The poster of the Cultural Day. Source: http://sssfnm.blogspot.hk/

Sheung Shui Choi Yuen Night Market hawkers have organized a cultural day on 27th April from 3 pm to 6 pm outside the open area of Shek Wu Hui Municipal Services Building. There will be stories and history about night market, singing shows, hawker’s poem, and photo taking with hawker’s cart, etc. The main purpose is to support hawkers at the Night Market, who recently have been actively suppressed by REIT and several authorities. The most violent scenario happened on 8th April. About a dozen of staffs from Housing Authority launched a surprise raid, seizing 11 food carts and arrested 6 hawkers and 1 neighbour. After then, they have established a blogger and organized the cultural day to ask for more support.

Taken on 2014/04/08. Source: http://sssfnm.blogspot.hk/

[Author’s comment: I personally do not like them occupying the bridge between Sheung Shui Station and Choi Yuen Estate. They take half of the width of the bridge, causing congestion, smelly air, and slippery floor. But I also know many people enjoy the Night Market.]

Sheung Shui Shopping Day to show Concern of Smuggling Activities in North District

North District Parallel Imports Concern Group has a new activity on this Sunday.

According to their fb page, North District Parallel Imports Concern Group (the Group) has decided to hold a shopping day for its members to learn more about the latest status on smugglers’ activities and their stocking locations. The officers of the Group will bring participants to survey a major distribution point in Sheung Shui, shop on San Kung Street, practice how to squat and sort your suitcase, and learn how to litter, then dismiss at San Kung Street. Attending members have been requested to wear the Group uniform for identification purpose. As the Group is a registered society and this is an internal activity. So it is not within the control of Group if other people follow the activity.

Sheung Shui Shopping Day (Internal Activity)
North District Parallel Imports Concern Group

Date: 2014-04-13 (Sunday)
Time: 15:30 -18:30
Meeting Point : Sheung Shui Railway Station Exit C

As usual, whenever the Group has activities, news about smugglers being arrested will appear beforehand. On April 10, the customs office at Lo Wu Control Point arrested 7 people including 3 teenagers of 14 years old for violating the two-can limit rule, which restricts that anyone is not allowed to take more than two cans of milk powder (about 1.8 kg total) outside the region, according to Oriental Daily. Meanwhile, the Immigrant Department, joint with the Hong Kong SAR Police, mounted another Windsand operation in Sheung Shui and arrested 30 Chinese visitors comprising 11 men and 19 women, aged from 21 to 60, at San Wan Road, Po Wan Road, Ka Fu Close and Shek Wu Hui Jockey Club Playground, for breaching their conditions of stay by being involved in smuggling goods including milk powder, diapers, red wine, foods, cosmetics, daily necessities and car components there, according to the government press release.

Teenagers involves in smuggling are not unheard before. Days ago, a secondary school girl was spotted smuggling milk powder by the Group. She was carrying 4 boxes of powder milk each 800g. The incident was then reported by Oriental Daily on 2014/04/03. Source: NDPICG

 

Child Abuse! Children are involved in smuggling activities! @ Sheung Shui Station, 2014/03/26. Source: NDPICG

 

A busy smugglers’ distribution point. This may be one of the targets of the Windsand operation. @ Cambridge Plaza, San Wan Road, Sheung Shui on 2014/04/09 17:49. Source: NDPICG

The items listed above do not include computers.

Smugglers put old mobile computers into backpacks, sneak them into the train station platform, distribute them to cross-border couriers for smuggling them back to China. @ Sheung Shui Station Exit D2 on 2014/04/10 10:58.  Source: NDPICG

And also, the report does not mention anyone violating CAP 296A.

Chapter 296A. RESERVED COMMODITIES (CONTROL OF IMPORTS, EXPORTS AND RESERVE STOCKS) REGULATIONS.

Prohibition of export of reserved commodities except under licence.

(1) Subject to paragraph (2), no person shall export from Hong Kong any reserved commodity except under an export licence issued by the Director.
(2) No export licence shall be required in respect of any reserved commodity exported from Hong Kong in the personal luggage of a person solely for his own consumption or as gifts, in an amount not exceeding 15 kg. (L.N. 336 of 1981)

(L.N. 336 of 1981)

Smuggling Thailand rice at Choi Yuen Plaza platform. South Asians with vans PF9312, ED9066 have organized a large group of smugglers for smuggling rices. When the vans arrives, the smugglers rush out to grab rice. One South Asian even distributes a large amount of rice at the back of a restaurant. Those Chinese housewives fill the baby cart with rice. They may have already violated CAP296A. @ Choi Yuen Plaza, Sheung Shui on 2014/04/07 13:18. Source: NDPICG

 

Video: China-India Smuggling Rice together. 2014/04/11. Is this a new trade route “the Rice Road?”

Video: Distributing Rice and Starch to Smugglers by South Asians with a van PF9312 at Choi Yuen Estate, Sheung Shui on 2014/03/11

 

Rice vans PF9312, ED9066. Source: Mr Lau Koon Tsuen

It is not sure if the authority has found Jenny Bakery cookies. According to a report from Next Media, Jenny Bakery themselves operate unlicensed workshops to produce cookies for smugglers for selling to China, but announce to the public that those cookies selling on shopping websites are counterfeit. Another thing for sure, Jenny Bakery has no branch in Sheung Shui. How come its cookies were spotted in Sheung Shui?

Smuggling Jenny Bakery cookie. @ Sheung Shui station platform on 2014/04/07. Source: Ken Lee

 

A police car and a pallet of Yakult parked on the road. Source: Mr. Lau Koon Tsuen.

Milk powder “buyers” at Shenzhen. Source: Mary Jean Reimer’s Facebook

 

Littering

Lands Department Broke its Word. Seize Farmland by Force.

On the morning of 4th April, the staffs and security force hired by the Lands Department organized a surprise attack with the police to evict the farmland of Mr Lai by force. The security force violently carried Mr Lai and Mrs Lai away from the farmland and immediately surrounded the land with wire net.

Source: Mapopo Community Farm

According to the video below, at 9:05 am Mr Lai Wing Kuen has answered a phone call from the Lands Department, asking him whether he has received the letter mailed in the previous day. Mr Lai has said no. Once he put down the phone, around twenty people dispatched by the Lands Department already arrived, rushed into the farmland, put the letter of the response of the Director of Lands Department into the hand of Mr Lai, and grabbed the couple away by force. The police was there but did nothing.

Around 50 supporters have arrived and attempted to stop the Department vehicles from driving away, but were removed by the police.

The supporters also suspected that the Lands Department has illegally demolished asbestos containing materials. Environmental Protection Department (EPD) was called to the scene for an investigation. Mr Au, senior environmental protection inspector, said if it is confirmed that the handling of asbestos is illegal, further action including prosecution will be taken. According to the webpage of Environmental Protection Department, it is an offence to carry out the asbestos abatement work without prior written notification to the EPD or without appointing a registered asbestos contractor to carry out the asbestos removal.

This is not the first attempt of the Lands Department.

On 6th March, they sent 50+ people to seize the land, but were repelled by the crowd that supports Mr Lai.

Source: HKATV. Click the photo for the video for the action.

Then on 27th March, it was heard that the Lands Department would take action again. Thus, around one hundred people have come to defend the farmland. However, Lands Department did not show up. So the supporter rallied to North District Lands Office to request for the Office to directly rent the farmland to Mr Lai, and to request to meet with the Director of Lands Department. Mr. Tony Moyung, North District Lands Office, has agreed to forward the request to the Director. He has also promised not to seize the farmland until he has received the response.

Source: Hong Kong In-Media

Mr Lai has been farming in Ma Shi Po for 30 years. He rented the land from the indigenous inhabitants of the New Territories. Because of the Northeast Development Plan, part of the farmland has been sold to Henderson Land Development. Moreover, Lands Departments said that around 60,000 square-feet (or 60%) of the referred land is government land. Mr Lai was accused of illegally occupying the government land for over 20 years, even though he has paid the lease to the landlord. After negotiation, Lands Department re-tendered the agricultural land for a three-year tenancy. At that time, Mr Lai believed that no one will be interested in renting a land that will soon be resumed and is lack of investment value. Thus, he did not make a strong protest against the decision. However, a mystic company, which has just established on 2013/10/29, three days before the tender closing date, won it with a high-price of $120,000 per year. According to Kaikai Cho of Mapopo Community Farm, the normal market rental of the referred farmland should be around $8000 per year, as each 斗種 dau chung (equivalent to 7260 feet square) is about $1000. A lawyer named Mr Luke Yip Ki Chi is the director of that company.

Sources

Hong Konger Supports Taiwanese Against ECFA with Spray Painting

Translation: “Taiwan students add oil”. Photo of Mr Lau Koon Tsuen.

Someone has spray-painted a slogan on the wall of a pedestrian tunnel NS105 in Sheung Shui to support Taiwanese protesting against signing the trade pact “Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement” (ECFA) with China. The slogan says, “Taiwan students add oil.”

I guess the HKSAR government will remove it as fast as they did to Invader’s street art, and will request the police to arrest the painter.

Further Reading: