Forged Hong Kong Police warrant card shared on social media

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18th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) On the mainland social media platform “Xiaohongshu,” a user displayed a forged Hong Kong Police warrant card, sparking controversy and raising concerns about the potential misuse of such documents. The photograph revealed a meticulously crafted imitation warrant card, complete with fictitious police officer details. The front side featured the officer’s name in both Chinese and English, position, a half-body photo, and a badge number. Additionally, the back of the card contained a small embedded chip indicating issuance by the Commissioner of Police.

The user, positioning themselves as a fan of Hong Kong action films, explained in the post that their possession of the forged warrant card was purely for personal collection purposes. They humorously stated that after watching numerous police dramas, they had developed a fantasy of being an inspector in the West Kowloon Serious Crime Unit.

While the user denied purchasing the forged card from online platforms like Taobao, they did not disclose the source of acquisition. Responding to various inquiries from internet users, the individual reiterated that it was solely for personal collection and assured that they had no intention of bringing it into Hong Kong.

Upon closer examination of the photograph, it became evident that the forgery was remarkably convincing, featuring accurate information such as the officer’s name listed as “ZOENG Paak-Hon” and his rank as Senior Inspector. The user even went as far as preparing a custom cardholder adorned with the Hong Kong Police emblem.

According to information obtained from the Hong Kong Police Force’s website, both police badges and emblems are protected under copyright laws, and the police emblem is registered as a trademark. Individuals who intend to use replicas of such equipment for filming purposes must obtain prior approval from the Public Relations Branch Chief Superintendent and submit a written application at least seven working days before the intended shoot.

The forgery and impersonation of public officials are serious criminal offences, punishable under the Summary Offences Ordinance, with penalties ranging from a HK$1,000 fine to six months’ imprisonment. Manufacturing, presenting, or possessing forged police warrant cards falls under the category of falsifying official documents, carrying its own set of criminal consequences.