Two elderly mainland Chinese women have been arrested for allegedly setting off firecrackers outside the US Consulate, shortly after they entered Hong Kong. They said they had met with unfair treatment in the mainland, but their motive is unknown.

A 72-year-old surnamed Luo and a 64-year-old surnamed Wang, both from central China’s Hunan province, arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday morning, reported Apple Daily.

The two arrested women (L), remains of their firecrackers (R). screenshot.

The police told HKFP they received a report from a security guard around 11:45am, claiming that firecrackers were being set off outside the consulate building in Central.

The two women were subsequently arrested. Officers found that they were carrying a lighter and packaging for firecrackers.

Oriental Daily reported that the women claimed they were unfairly treated in the mainland – although officers found it difficult to communicate with them further due to language barriers.

“She is ill, she has a heart disease,” one woman was filmed telling police officers regarding the other in heavily-accented Chinese.

US Consulate General, Hong Kong. File photo: Baycrest via Wikimedia Commons.

The police said they charged Luo with violating Article 59 of the Dangerous Goods (General) Regulations, while Wang was released after a verbal warning.

A spokesperson from the US Consulate told Oriental Daily that it would leave the matter to the police, as the incident took place in a public space.

Regulations forbid the discharging of fireworks without approval from the secretary for home affairs, and stipulate a maximum penalty of HK$2,000.

Luo’s case will be heard at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court next Thursday.

Elson Tong

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.