Police raid illegal TST bar, find 91 people packed inside

Police found 91 people inside a 1,000 sq ft apartment on Hillwood Road. Photo: Google Maps
Police found 91 people inside a 1,000 sq ft apartment on Hillwood Road. Photo: Google Maps

Since the coronavirus outbreak first hit the city in January, Hongkongers have been told to stay indoors, maintain a safe distance from others, and only convene of groups of four or less. While many people have been complying with the rules (albeit begrudgingly), it seems that some people still aren’t taking the restrictions seriously.

At 3:30am on Tuesday morning, police raided an unlicensed bar in a 1,000 sq ft apartment on Hillwood Road in Tsim Sha Tsui and found 91 people packed inside, all of whom were promptly arrested. Everyone present was given a temperature check, but nobody was found to have a fever.

Officers found a total of 671 cans of beer and 34 bottles of liquor on the premises, along with a large quantity of illegal drugs. A police source told the SCMP that the bar was controlled by the Wo Shing Wo triad, who used it to sell drugs to customers. So on top of flouting coronavirus-era rules, like the bar ban and social distancing regulations, there were also some perennially dodgy things happening. Police searched the scene and found HKD70,000 worth of drugs — including cocaine, crystal meth, and trace amounts of weed and ketamine.

All this in the wee hours on a Tuesday. If we weren’t in the middle of a global pandemic, that kind of weekday party stamina would almost be… impressive? (But we are, so it’s not. Obviously.)

According to Oriental Daily, about 30 people who were arrested were known to be affiliated with triads. A total of 86 patrons were arrested for possessing illegal drugs and drinking liquor on unlicensed premises, while four staff members — three men and one woman — were arrested on suspicion of trafficking in a dangerous drug and selling alcohol without a license.

All four staff members appeared at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court this morning to face charges of selling alcohol without a license, while the prosecution considers whether to charge them with the more serious offense of drug trafficking. They were released on HKD10,000 bail and ordered to relinquish all travel documents and stay at their reported addresses.

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