The Correctional Services Department conducted surprise search operations at Tai Lam Correctional Institution yesterday and today (June 8 and 9) to combat illicit activities.
Recent intelligence revealed that some persons in custody at the institution had been stockpiling self-purchased cigarettes for illicit activities. The management of Tai Lam Correctional Institution subsequently formulated action plans to combat the illicit activities while closely monitoring targeted persons in custody. Following detailed preparation and planning, the department conducted the two-day surprise search operations concerning the target locations and persons in custody. About 600 packs of cigarettes were seized in one of the dining halls during the operation.
Preliminary investigation revealed that some of the seized cigarettes belonged to persons in custody of the area in question while the remainder belonged to the persons in custody of other areas or discharged persons. It is suspected that the seized cigarettes would have been used by individual persons in custody for illicit activities without involving any organised syndicate. During the operation, eight persons in custody suspected to be involved in illicit activities were removed and are under investigation.
The CSD has appointed an independent board to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.
The CSD takes a zero-tolerance approach to illicit activities in institutions, and spares no effort in combating illicit activities of any kind involving persons in custody. All the activities of persons in custody are under the close supervision of correctional officers. In addition to conducting routine searches, the CSD conducts surprise searches to ensure a safe environment for the rehabilitation of persons in custody.
Ends/Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:28