Hong Kong Bomb Plot Leader Admits Losing $38K of Group Funds Gambling 

The former ringleader of a Hong Kong protest group has admitted spending HK$300K (US$38K) of crowdfunded money on gambling.

Wong Chun-Keung is the former organizer of the “Dragon Slaying Brigade.” During the 2019/20 anti-government protests in the Chinese special administrative region, it was one of the most active organizations on the streets. 

Wong was speaking in court this week in Hong Kong, where he is being sentenced on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts. In February, he filed a guilty plea after being accused of plotting to plant two bombs in the Wan Chai commercial district of the city in 2019.

He has been cooperating with authorities in pursuit of seeking a reduced sentence. 

“There were quite a lot of donations at that time. I used about HK$300,000 of the donations to gamble. For me, it was a way to de-stress,” he said.

 “It was indeed not a good approach, but this was what I thought at that time.”

The Bomb Plot

Police have accused Wong of conspiring to kill dozens of police officers in the planned bomb attacks.

The Hong Kong High Court was shown messages from a Telegram channel where Wong referred to “20 or more dragon hearts.” Police say that was code for dead officers, according to the South China Morning Post.

Wong has admitted he had a desire to enact vengeance on the police, but said he did not intend to harm any public bystanders.

The Hong Kong protests of 2019 began because the city government was believed by many to be bowing down to the Chinese over a controversial extradition law. 

The protests, often including violent clashes with law enforcement, ran for six months, until the COVID-19 pandemic brought the city to a standstill. 

The Gambling

Wong also testified that he was solely in charge of the group’s fundraising and finances. The money was raised by private donations, also organized through Telegram channels.

He also admitted spending a good chunk of the group’s income, money meant for supplies to aid their civil disobedience campaign, on gambling. 

Specifically, he engaged in sports betting on soccer matches, both online and at casinos in nearby Macau. He also said he spent money hiring a sex worker for another member of the group, who is not accused of any criminal wrongdoing. 

Prosecution lawyers alleged that Wong’s gambling admission was meant to downplay the amount of money that was funded through the group, which they consider terrorists.

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