Police identified the gang as Colombian and said its members distracted bank staff to get to the safe deposit boxes, targeting nine. The perpetrators emptied five boxes and escaped with the contents before an alarm was raised.
Four people were later arrested Wednesday in police raids on hotel rooms in two parts of the city. Property worth about 150,000 US dollars was recovered, police said.
Senior superintendent Leung Ka-ming said he could not reveal how the gang breached security at the branch of the Bank of East Asia in Hong Kong’s Mongkok district to get into the safe deposit boxes.
“We believe two of the suspects distracted the attention if bank staff, allowing the other burglars to access the [safe deposit box] area,” he said.
However, he said police officers would talk to representatives of banks across the city about how to avoid a repeat of the daylight raid, in which the suspects appeared to have been unarmed.
Closed-circuit television footage was used to identify the suspects and trace them to their hotels in the city’s Wan Chai and Yau Ma Tei districts, he said. They were being held for questioning. (dpa)