A Hong Kong warehouse worker who admitted keeping 100 litres of petrol for manufacturing firebombs to be used in the anti-government protests two years ago has been jailed for five years.

Gilbert Ng Wai-ho was sentenced at the District Court on Wednesday following the largest haul of petrol bomb-related materials to date.

The 40-year-old defendant had turned a shipping container provided by his employer as accommodation into a makeshift bomb factory, the court heard.

The volume of petrol found there was enough to produce 300 firebombs, according to government forensic scientists.

Police intercepted Ng on November 2, 2019 when he was making his way back to the crime scene in Wang Chau, Yuen Long. Officers found four petrol bombs and two gas cylinders in his rucksack, which also contained protest paraphernalia including a respirator, helmet, tactical vest and eight bottles of saline solution.

Investigators later searched a warehouse where Ng worked and found 100 litres of petrol stored in five plastic barrels outside his container. Two incomplete petrol bombs and funnels, a pump, a bottle of peanut oil and a pair of gloves were also seized.

Police also found in Ng’s mobile phone conversations with other unidentified people on messaging app Telegram. They had discussed how to enhance the potency of petrol bombs and their plans to target public facilities, including railways, using the incendiary devices.

Ng pleaded guilty last month to one count each of possessing offensive weapons in a public place and possessing articles with intent to damage or destroy property.

Protesters fuse petrol bombs to use as weapons during an anti-extradition bill march from Causeway Bay towards Wan Chai and Admiralty in 2019. Photo: Sam TsangProtesters fuse petrol bombs to use as weapons during an anti-extradition bill march from Causeway Bay towards Wan Chai and Admiralty in 2019. Photo: Sam Tsang

During sentencing on Wednesday, Judge Anthony Kwok Kai-on said the amount of petrol seized left him “speechless”, adding the crime was meticulously planned in a bid to further Ng’s political agenda and undermine the rule of law.

“The court has little difficulty in deducing that the accused had the intention to use the petrol bombs, or at least provide them to protesters, to target law enforcement officers or facilities,” Kwok said. “His intention to possess [the seized items] cannot be clearer. The nature [of the crime] is abominable.”

The judge set a starting point of sentencing at 2½ years in prison for bringing the four petrol bombs to the streets, and 6½ years’ jail for keeping the petrol in the warehouse. He reduced each term by a third to reflect Ng’s guilty plea before ordering eight months in the first charge to be served consecutively to the second charge.

Protesters hurl petrol bombs at riot police in Wan Chai in 2019. Photo: Felix WongProtesters hurl petrol bombs at riot police in Wan Chai in 2019. Photo: Felix Wong
Protesters hurl petrol bombs at riot police in Wan Chai in 2019. Photo: Felix Wong

A Hong Kong warehouse worker who admitted keeping 100 litres of petrol for manufacturing firebombs to be used in the anti-government protests two years ago has been jailed for five years.

Gilbert Ng Wai-ho was sentenced at the District Court on Wednesday following the largest haul of petrol bomb-related materials to date.

The 40-year-old defendant had turned a shipping container provided by his employer as accommodation into a makeshift bomb factory, the court heard.

The volume of petrol found there was enough to produce 300 firebombs, according to government forensic scientists.

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Police intercepted Ng on November 2, 2019 when he was making his way back to the crime scene in Wang Chau, Yuen Long. Officers found four petrol bombs and two gas cylinders in his rucksack, which also contained protest paraphernalia including a respirator, helmet, tactical vest and eight bottles of saline solution.

Investigators later searched a warehouse where Ng worked and found 100 litres of petrol stored in five plastic barrels outside his container. Two incomplete petrol bombs and funnels, a pump, a bottle of peanut oil and a pair of gloves were also seized.

Police also found in Ng’s mobile phone conversations with other unidentified people on messaging app Telegram. They had discussed how to enhance the potency of petrol bombs and their plans to target public facilities, including railways, using the incendiary devices.

Ng pleaded guilty last month to one count each of possessing offensive weapons in a public place and possessing articles with intent to damage or destroy property.

Protesters fuse petrol bombs to use as weapons during an anti-extradition bill march from Causeway Bay towards Wan Chai and Admiralty in 2019. Photo: Sam Tsang

Protesters fuse petrol bombs to use as weapons during an anti-extradition bill march from Causeway Bay towards Wan Chai and Admiralty in 2019. Photo: Sam Tsang

During sentencing on Wednesday, Judge Anthony Kwok Kai-on said the amount of petrol seized left him “speechless”, adding the crime was meticulously planned in a bid to further Ng’s political agenda and undermine the rule of law.

“The court has little difficulty in deducing that the accused had the intention to use the petrol bombs, or at least provide them to protesters, to target law enforcement officers or facilities,” Kwok said. “His intention to possess [the seized items] cannot be clearer. The nature [of the crime] is abominable.”

The judge set a starting point of sentencing at 2½ years in prison for bringing the four petrol bombs to the streets, and 6½ years’ jail for keeping the petrol in the warehouse. He reduced each term by a third to reflect Ng’s guilty plea before ordering eight months in the first charge to be served consecutively to the second charge.

In a separate case, three people involved in an intense stand-off between protesters and police at a railway station in 2019 were jailed at the same court on Wednesday.

Two of the defendants – garment company manager Lau Yuen-ling, 47, and event organiser Tse Ka-lun, 44 – were jailed for 45 months and 44 months, respectively, over the disturbance at Sha Tin MTR station on the night of September 7, 2019. A third defendant, 28-year-old computer technician Li Chun-lam, was jailed for a year.

They were among several dozens of protesters who confronted police inside the station at around 10pm on the day in question, following calls to paralyse the airport and other transport facilities in the city.

Officers attempted to subdue Li after he used a laser pointer to shine bright lights on the scene. The crowd reacted furiously, with Lau hurling a metal box at an inspector, hitting his head.

Lau and Tse were each found guilty of rioting. The former was further convicted of assaulting a police officer, while Li was found guilty of resisting a police officer and possession of an offensive weapon.

Extracted in full from: Hong Kong protests: worker who kept 100 litres of petrol to make firebombs jailed for 5 years | South China Morning Post (scmp.com)