First aid volunteer arrested at Hong Kong anti-government protest pleads guilty to using walkie-talkie without a licence

Brian Wong

A Hong Kong man on Monday pleaded guilty to using a walkie-talkie without a licence in his role as an unofficial first aid volunteer at an anti-government protest six months ago.

Transport worker Ng Hei-lun, 21, used the handheld radio to communicate with other fellow first-aiders during a protest in Tuen Mun on September 21, Kwun Tong Court heard.

Defence lawyers told the court Ng was unfamiliar with the city’s telecommunications laws, which prohibit the possession of radio communication devices without government approval.

An unofficial first-aid volunteer arrested in September pleaded guilty to using a walkie-talkie without a licence at Kwun Tong court on March 16. Photo: Nora Tam

Magistrate Veronica Heung Shuk-han adjourned sentencing to April 27 in Tuen Mun Court, pending a probation report.

Prosecutors said that on the afternoon of September 21, police intercepted eight people following a sweep near the Tuen Mun MTR station, where a large crowd of protesters had assembled. Some had been seen vandalising the station’s facilities and shining laser pointers at officers.

Ng, who was wearing a first aid vest, was found in possession of a blue walkie-talkie during a subsequent search. An officer from the Communications Authority later confirmed Ng did not hold a valid licence for the device.

Another of the first aid volunteers intercepted was 19-year-old student Yeung Pak-yu, who was charged on Monday with possessing radio communication devices without a licence and failure to produce proof of identity on demand.

He was granted time to seek legal advice before entering a plea on April 27 in Tuen Mun Court.

Both Yeung and Ng were allowed to remain free on bail of HK$200 before the next hearing.

According to Section 20 of the Telecommunications Ordinance, possessing radio communications devices without a licence is punishable by a HK$50,000 fine and two years’ imprisonment, when it is charged on a summary, or less serious, basis.

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