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3 men armed with knives in Hong Kong rob delivery man of S$179 of toilet paper

Triad-linked crime.

Belmont Lay | February 17, 11:07 am

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Three armed robbers made off with hundreds of toilet rolls in Hong Kong as the city has been wracked by shortages caused by Covid-19 coronavirus panic-buying.

The assailants were then hunted by Hong Kong police on Monday, Feb. 17

Police said a truck driver was held up early Monday by three men outside a supermarket in Mong Kok, a working-class district with a history of “triad” organised crime gangs.

“A delivery man was threatened by three knife-wielding men who took toilet paper worth more than HK$1,000 (S$179),” a police spokesman told AFP.

Police investigators standing around multiple crates of toilet roll outside a Wellcome supermarket, news footage showed.

One of the crates was only half stacked.

Hot property

Toilet rolls have become hot property.

This was despite government assurances that supplies remain unaffected by the virus outbreak.

Supermarkets have found themselves unable to restock quickly enough.

Long queues developed and shelves stripped bare within moments of opening.

A food run on staples like rice and pasta have occurred, as well as the bulk-buying of hand sanitiser and other cleaning items.

Authorities have blamed false online rumours for the panic-buying.

Supplies of food and household goods remain stable, authorities added.

But the panic-buying has itself created shortages in one of the world’s most densely populated cities where supermarkets and pharmacies have limited floor space.

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About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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