IN BRIEF (Page 1)

Updated: 2011-10-14 07:05

(HK Edition)

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Loan shark racket busted

Police arrested nine men and one woman on Thursday, aged between 15 and 33, on suspicion of involvement in loan sharking.

Six of the suspects were believed to have triad backgrounds; the rest are clerks of money lending companies or intermediary agencies.

Chief Inspector of the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau Kitty Chan Yi-ping said the Money Lenders Ordinance capped the loan interest rates at 60 percent per annum.

But the loan companies were found to charge exorbitant rates in the name of processing fees or guarantee fees through intermediary agencies. Repayment often was enforced by threats.

HK$1.2m seafood seized

Seafood worth some HK$1.2 million was seized in an anti-smuggling operation in Tai O on Thursday.

Marine police officers discovered a group of men loading boxes onto two speedboats at a pier in Tai O on Lantau Island around 5 am.

The men, seeing the officers approaching, fled on speedboats in the direction of Shenzhen.

In total 176 cases of lobsters and eight cases of geoducks were left on the pier. Police believe the men intended to smuggle them to the mainland.

Man in court over attacks

A 31-year-old man arrested in connection with four knife attacks in Tseung Kwan O on Oct 2 was charged with wounding in the Kwun Tong Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

The prosecution raised the issue concerning the defendant's fitness to enter a plea. Two psychiatric evaluation reports were ordered, to determine whether the accused was competent to stand trial. The case was adjourned to Oct 27. The defendant was remanded into custody.

Police received reports of four pedestrians who came under apparently random attack by the same man wielding a knife, early on Oct 2. The suspect was arrested on Oct 10 at his flat in Hau Tak Estate.

EOC welcomes minority support

The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) welcomes initiatives set out in Wednesday's policy address's to enable better integration of people with disabilities and people of ethnic minorities into mainstream society.

Lam Woon-kwong, chairperson of the EOC, also welcomed the government's initiatives to support students with special needs, by extending the School-based Educational Psychology Service progressively to cover all public secondary and primary schools. The service will give secondary and primary schools greater support to help students with dyslexia and other special educational needs.

He also praised the initiative to set up a new youth college under the Vocational Training Council to provide specialized support for non-Chinese speaking students and those with special educational needs, stressing there are needs for long-term and multi-pronged assistance and support for ethnic minority students.

China Daily

(HK Edition 10/14/2011 page1)