M&Ms being smuggled into jails seized as sweets branded security threat

Police have arrested three activists – two men and a woman aged between 18 and 20 – in Hong Kong for allegedly attempting to incite subversion and revolution by distributing M&Ms and other goods to prisoners.

Officers raided a warehouse linked to the group yesterday, September 20, and seized around 40 cartons.

Included in those cartons were a dozen clear plastic storage boxes containing M&Ms, crackers, wet wipes and baby powder, among other products, Nikkei Asia reports.

Hong Kong’s correctional service tightly controls the items that can be provided to inmates in order to prevent prisoners from accumulating certain items which "create privilege".

Secretary for Security, Chris Tang, said that earlier this month some inmates had accumulated supplies of products such as hair clips and chocolates to "try to establish certain influence".

Senior superintendent of the police national security bureau, Steve Li, said that the trio aimed at fomenting "war" or "revolution" against the Chinese and Hong Kong governments.

Inciting subversion is one of the four offences under the national security law imposed on Hong Kong last year by Beijing, along with separatism, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces, with each being potentially punishable by life imprisonment.

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Yesterday’s warehouse raid came a day after 6,000 police officers were deployed to ensure safety as around 5,000 ballots were cast in the city’s Election Committee across five polling stations, with no incidents reported except for one small protest that was quickly restrained.

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