Government-manufactured CSi masks being picked up from police vehicles
CSi masks, though mass produced by prison inmates under the Correctional Services Department (CSD) and stated “only for internal use”, are seen being wore by many on the street, from the elderly to domestic helpers. Some said that they obtained the masks through civil servants, or even buying them. Some citizens witnessed two boxes of CSi masks being given to a woman by police officers on a police vehicle, and questioned whether this act was the police using their power for their personal gain. Initially, the police did not deny the given goods being masks, but only saying that no medical supplies were for personal use. Later, the police changed their claim, stating that the masks were bought by related officers with their own money. Civil servants revealed that several government departments allowed their workers to order masks in order to set quotas for the masks supply, such that some could take home what was originally public property.
The incident occurred on 1st February, at 7:45 p.m.. The dashboard camera’s footage, provided by a car owner, revealed a police vehicle (license plate number AM 8064) stopping after being driven to Tai Hang Tung Estate Tung Hoi House, Shek Kip Mei. A middle-aged woman who was waiting beside the road went to the vehicle briskly after seeing it stop, followed by two green-colored boxes of masks being handed to her from those within the car. The box’s design was similar to the older design of the boxes of the CSi masks. Upon receiving the boxes, she walked away towards the direction of Tung Hoi Street, the police vehicle being driven away also. The entire process lasted for around 10 seconds.
The person who had filmed the scene, Miss Chan (Pseudonym), said that it could clearly be seen that the two boxes were indeed containing masks. She believed that this proved the police to be using their power for their personal benefits, as the masks were government property and originally only for internal use. “Even if it was bought or sold, the transport medium should definitely not be a police vehicle. It is only a matter of whether it was a large or small criminal offence.”
In response to Apple Daily, the police did not deny the goods being exchanged to be government masks, only stating that the Traffic Department from Kowloon West Regional Headquarters had already assessed the situation, and said that “There are no government supplies related to epidemic prevention which are used for personal use.” The Police Public Relations Branch (PPRB) added late at night, saying that the investigation from the Traffic Department indicated that the related masks was bought by officers sing their own money, restated that there were no government supplies related to epidemic prevention which are used for personal use, and disciplinary investigations were currently being carried out concerning the problems of the usage of police vehicles in the incident.
Civil servants from non-emergency government departments revealed that although the department only allowed each worker to take one mask for his own use every day, they also allowed them to take 30 masks at once for a month’s worth as it is more convenient, since the number of office workers in the departments is large. Therefore, the civil servants suspected that some workers could take the masks back home and give them to their family members.
Cap. 232A Police (Discipline) Regulations Part 1 No. 3:
(2)The offences against discipline are—
(a)absence from duty without leave or good cause;
(c)conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline;