Eight minors detained over multiple arsons

Thursday, March 12, 2009
Issue 638, Page 1
Word count: 307
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Eight of the 10 teenagers who are all under the age of 16 and allegedly set fire on four places in Macau’s north before dawn yesterday were caught by the Public Security Police (PSP).

Beginning at about 2am, four different areas in Areia Preta, including a side street and a park, were reported on fire, with eight scooters, a sofa and some paperboard having been damaged.

No one was injured from the series of alleged arsons.

According to spokesman Pun Sio Tong, the PSP started the investigation immediately and intercepted four boys and a girl in the early morning in front of a restaurant in Rua do Canal Novo.

Pun said lighters were found on three of the teenagers who admitted to police that they were responsible for the arsons in Macau’s northern district.

Afterwards according to the five teenagers’ statements, the PSP went to a school and two flats in the same district where three more boys were caught, including the alleged “mastermind”, Pun said.

Police believed that there were altogether 10 suspects who are all under the age of criminal responsibility at 16 years old, with the youngest being at 12.

Some of the teenagers are students while the others are school drop outs, Pun said.

The PSP will continue to trace the whereabouts of the remaining two teenagers.

The police spokesman said the group of teenagers met each other in internet cafes during the past three months.

He also said that the “mastermind lured” the other teenagers to commit the series of arsons by promising them “free entertainment in internet cafes”.

The alleged “mastermind” refused to cooperate with police or give any statements, but Pun said the PSP believed that his motive for the arsons was only to “have fun”.

The eight teenagers are being detained at the Public Prosecutions Office for further interrogation.

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