Tourists suspected of common assault

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Issue 1236, Page 2
Word count: 580
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) announced yesterday that a brief investigation showed that the two local tour guides involved in the assault by tourists on Monday did not violate any regulations in the process, and stressed that it pays “high attention” to all incidents that may affect the city’s tourism image.

The three mainland tourists travelling in a tour group from Liaoning province already departed Macau at around 2.30am yesterday. Since no formal charges were laid before their departure, the Macau Government could not legally bar the mainlanders involved from leaving the territory, the Public Security Police (PSP) said.

Yet, the Office of the Secretary for Security said in a press statement yesterday that the authority will notify the counterparts in the mainland concerning the case.

Meanwhile, the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) also issued a statement and said a criminal information report was received from the Customs, and after analysing the report the prosecutor in charge of the case believed that common assault has been committed and thus ordered for the establishment of the case.

The case has now been returned to the Customs for further investigation.

On the other hand, the tour guide, Cheng Mon Ton, who was allegedly attacked by the three tourists after attempts to mediate in the quarrel at the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal on Monday morning, is suffering from bruises mostly on his forehead, abdomen and legs, according to the president of the Macau Tourist Guide Association, Wu Wai Fong.

Wu told the Macau Daily Times yesterday that Cheng was already discharged from the hospital yesterday after midnight and no internal injury was reported.

“Our tour guides didn’t do anything wrong at all,” she said. “We only demanded an apology before the tourists left Macau, which they already did and we accepted. We just wanted to get back our dignity.”

However, Wu said the incident was not over yet since Cheng still expresses desire to seek justice through legal means.

It has been reported that the family of Cheng demanded the three tourists for MOP 200,000 compensation but the talks failed. Wu said Cheng’s wife went to meet the mainlanders on the coach but she has never heard of Cheng saying to her that he wanted money compensation.

On Monday night, dozens of local tour guides went looking for the group of tourists in the Jai Alai Casino, demanding an apology. Several police officers arrived at the scene to maintain order and calm down both parties.

The MGTO said the tour group consisting of 27 people arrived by boat from Hong Kong before schedule at 9am on Monday. Wu said it was about 20 minutes earlier but some of the tourists immediately complained that their local tour guide, a woman surnamed Sun, was late to pick them up at the terminal.

Cheng, who is from another local travel agency, tried to calm the tourists down but was then beaten by them, Wu said.

The MGTO disclosed that in the past three years, it received 88 complaints against travel agencies and/or tour guides, mainly in relation to the arrangements of itineraries.

On the other hand, Wu urged the Government to update the legislation in order to increase protection not only to tour guides but all Macau people as a whole.

She suggested simplifying regulations so that police will be given power to prosecute and penalise instantly tourists who violate the law in Macau, instead of needing to wait for all the legal procedures to complete.

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