Hong Kong – FEHD clarifies issue of construction waste at Devil’s Peak

FEHD clarifies issue of construction waste at Devil’s Peak


     At the Kwun Tong District Council (DC) meeting yesterday (July 4), a DC member said that a report from the public was received claiming that staff of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) had dumped construction waste at the slope after demolition of some illegal structures at Devil’s Peak. A spokesman for the FEHD clarifies today (July 5) that there had been no such incident as claimed.

     The spokesman said that the FEHD had contacted the DC member concerned to understand the matter and launched an investigation. According to the department’s work records, no staff had been deployed to remove illegal structures or to clear relevant construction waste at the said location, and in fact those tasks fall outside the FEHD’s area of responsibility. Therefore, the department reckons that the incident is merely a misunderstanding.

     The FEHD has referred the abovementioned report from the public to the Lands Department (LandsD) for follow-up investigation, and understands that the LandsD will arrange contractors to remove relevant construction waste as early as practicable. The FEHD will continue to monitor the location concerned to see if there are any other environmental hygiene problems that need to be addressed.

Hong Kong – Government clarifies recruitment of personnel for Fang Cang under closed-loop arrangement circulated on Internet

Government clarifies recruitment of personnel for Fang Cang under closed-loop arrangement circulated on Internet


     In response to media enquiries about recruitment of personnel for Fang Cang under closed-loop arrangement circulated on the Internet, a Government spokesman today (November 9) reiterated that the governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen are working on the detailed requirements for the proposal of “pre-departure quarantine” to ensure the comprehensive formulation of the plan. The relevant discussion is still in progress. The Government has not launched any recruitment of personnel for the work mentioned above at this stage.

     The Government appeals to members of the public to be cautious in job seeking and not to disclose personal information to a third party if the recruitment advertisements are suspicious to avoid relevant information from being used improperly.

Hong Kong – CSD clarifies unfounded remarks made by individual member of public

CSD clarifies unfounded remarks made by individual member of public


     In response to unfounded remarks made by a member of the public through the media today (July 27) on the treatment of persons in custody, the Correctional Services Department (CSD) made the following clarifications to set the record straight:

     The CSD is committed to ensuring a secure, safe, humane, decent and healthy custodial environment and has been continuously taking various measures to improve the custodial environment, including air ventilation in the institutions. Apart from the regular replacement of fans, the CSD has additionally installed different types of fans, including high power industrial fans and anti-suicide cell safety fans at different institutions according to the genuine needs. New-style gates and windows are also installed progressively to improve air ventilation. 

     Moreover, the CSD also allows persons in custody to purchase ice cooling towels and hand fans. For security reasons, the CSD will not allow persons in custody to purchase antipyretic paste.

     The CSD arranges daily exercise for persons in custody in accordance with the law, except for those exempted by the Medical Officer for health reason. Besides, the CSD also arranges persons in custody to take daily shower at different time slots with regard to the operations of the institutions. There is no restriction that a shower should be completed within 10 minutes.

     Generally speaking, the CSD switches off lighting devices in cells during the bedtime of persons in custody. Nevertheless, having regard to the actual operational needs of the institution, appropriate illumination will be maintained in individual cells at night to ensure that the health conditions of person in custody can be effectively monitored by correctional officers. 

     The CSD condemns the individual member of the public for making unfounded remarks to smear the department.

Hong Kong – DH clarifies arrangement for handling deceased bodies in public mortuaries

DH clarifies arrangement for handling deceased bodies in public mortuaries


     In response to media report on the handling of deceased bodies in public mortuaries under the Department of Health (DH), the DH today (March 19) issued the following clarification:


     Currently, most of the bodies of deceased patients of public hospitals are stored at the hospitals’ mortuaries, and the next-of-kin could identify and claim the bodies for after-death arrangements, while bodies of patients who passed away at Accident and Emergency Departments (A&EDs) have to be transferred to public mortuaries for the DH to handle. In view of the severe local COVID-19 epidemic situation with a larger number of deaths within a short period of time, the HKSAR Government understands that the wish of the next-of-kin of the deceased to claim the body as soon as possible. As such, all relevant government departments have proactively followed up and coordinated so as to address the next-of-kin’s concerns in a swift manner.


     The DH’s spokesman emphasized that public mortuaries under the DH have all along operated and received bodies round the clock throughout the day with responsible personnel working 24 hours on shift. To handle the sudden increase on bodies during the epidemic, the DH’s Forensic Pathology Service have arranged additional timeslots on Saturdays for body identification in Kwai Chung Public Mortuary and Kowloon Public Mortuary. In order to address public wish to claim the body as soon as possible, the DH has decided that this special arrangement will be extended to Victoria Public Mortuary and Fu Shan Public Mortuary shortly whereas Kowloon Public Mortuary will also provide service on Sunday mornings.


     Since early March, the DH has been deploying internal resources with more civil servants and recruiting contract staff (retired/full-time/part-time) involving doctors and personnel of other grades to speed up the process of body identification/claiming and autopsy. Through deploying internal manpower, the department has also strengthened the handling of public enquiries of public mortuaries.


     The spokesman said that all cases handled in public mortuaries are reportable to the Coroner. Upon issuance of the “Certificate of Order Authorizing Burial/Cremation of Body” by the Coroner, the next-of-kin can make funeral and body claiming arrangement. Since early March, the death investigation procedure of cases might take longer than usual due to the increased number of bodies of patients who passed away at A&EDs and stored at the newly-installed storage facility. The DH’s Forensic Pathology Service has increased manpower, and has deliberated with the Police and the Coroner’s Court to devise measures to facilitate the next-of-kin to identify body and handle after-death arrangements in a timely manner. Apart from cases that required autopsy, the next-of-kin will be able to collect the Cremation Order within two working days following body identification, and can claim the body any day after obtaining the Cremation Order. 


     The DH has adopted various measures in collaboration with other government departments to increase body storage capacity and speed up the procedure for identification of body, which include installing a new storage facility at government sites near Fu Shan Public Mortuary in Sha Tin with expanded body storage capacity. A special arrangement was also implemented to transfer deceased bodies from the A&EDs of public hospitals to store at the new storage facility.


     Moreover, in order to speed up the handling of cases passed away at the A&EDs and transferred to the storage facility, the Police will assist the DH in contacting the next-of-kin for the relevant body identification matters. The Police has started calling the next-of-kin for arranging the necessary procedures in a prompt manner, and has provided telephone numbers for enquiries by the next-of-kin. Starting from next Monday (March 21), the next-of-kin may identify body at the storage facility as arranged by the Police.


     The DH will continue to monitor the utilisation situation and storage capacity of public mortuaries and speed up the handling of deceased bodies there by enhanced manpower, as well as to discuss with relevant government departments to formulate appropriate response measures.  

Hong Kong – Hong Kong Customs clarifies no public auction ever arranged through external parties

Hong Kong Customs clarifies no public auction ever arranged through external parties


     Hong Kong Customs made a clarification today (December 28) that it has never arranged a public auction by means of a social media platform and website to sell confiscated items. The department reminds members of the public to be alert and avoid being scammed.

     Customs had earlier noticed two dedicated pages under the names of “Matiny” and “Yimi-shop” on the Facebook platform. Posts with website hyperlinks registered in the United States and Canada (https://twgsjg.shop and https://bfjays.shop) respectively were found, falsely claiming that Hong Kong Customs was making arrangements for selling confiscated items by means of public auction. One of the websites even falsely claimed that the proceeds from an auction would be used for charity purposes.

     Customs said that the dedicated pages conveyed false information that conspired to mislead members of the public. Customs also suspects intellectual property right infringement and noted that there may be offences under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO) and Copyright Ordinance (CO) of Hong Kong.

     Customs has already requested the social media platform’s operator to remove the messages and the hyperlinks as soon as possible. The department will also contact INTERPOL for follow-up action.

     Customs reiterates that confiscated items of all types will be handled strictly in accordance with the established guidelines upon the completion of legal procedures. Items suitable for placing on public auction will be co-ordinated and handled exclusively by the government department concerned in Hong Kong. The department never works with any external individuals or bodies to make a public auction.   

     Customs stresses that it has all along been concerned with illegal online sales activities. It has strived to combat unfair trade practices and infringing activities on websites. It also maintains close co-operation with law enforcement authorities of other countries and regions to combat cross-boundary infringing activities and protect the rights of consumers and legitimate traders.


     ​Customs reminds consumers that they should stay vigilant in regard to online shopping, and procure products at reputable shops. They should not purchase items of unknown sources at suspicious websites or social media platforms to prevent any losses that may incur. Consumers are also reminded to contact trademark owners or traders for enquiries in case of doubts.

     Customs said follow-up investigation will be conducted if the infringing activities involve local persons. If the relevant platform is located outside Hong Kong but is involved in local criminal infringing activities, Customs will refer the cases to law enforcement authorities outside Hong Kong for joint follow-up actions.

     According to the TDO, any person who sells or possesses for sale any goods with a forged trademark commits an offence. In addition, “trade descriptions”, in relation to goods, refers to an indication, direct or indirect, and in whatever form and by whatever means (including verbal), with respect to goods or any part of the goods, including the method of manufacture, production and processing, or the previous ownership or use. Traders should not give any false or misleading product information to consumers. Making a false or misleading statement about goods to a material degree may constitute an offence of false trade description. Violation of the TDO is a serious offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

     In addition, according to the CO, anyone who without the licence of the copyright owner distributes an infringing copy of a work through any device or electronic platform to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner, or possesses any infringing items for business purposes, commits an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $50,000 per infringing copy and imprisonment for four years.

     Customs appeals to members of the public to report any suspected unfair trade practices or infringing activities to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).