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Court grants bail to Pinoy charged with possessing unlicensed firearm

31 May 2019

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By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipino resident of Hong Kong who is facing a charge of possessing a unlicensed firearm was granted $5,000 bail on May 30 by a magistrate in Eastern Court.

Ernesto Lopez Jr appeared before Magistrate Veronica Heung to apply for bail eight days after being charged for the offense.

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The prosecution said Lopez was arrested and detained by the police in his rented flat in North Point earlier this month for carrying the long firearm.

Investigators confirmed the weapon was a firearm but said some of its parts were missing, the prosecutor said.

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The prosecution asked for an adjournment until Jul 11 as the police were still conducting a test on the firearm and trying to find its missing parts.

Magistrate Heung allowed Lopez to post bail in the meantime, but said he should surrender his travel document, and not leave Hong Kong.

Lopez’s wife, her young daughter and parents attended the hearing.

Afterwards, the wife said that Lopez, who worked as a furniture repairman, found the gun in their flat in North Point when they moved into it two years ago.

She said Lopez decided to keep it as a toy but made the mistake of bringing it out of their house  after drinking alcohol. Someone saw him with it and called the police.

Under the Firearms and Ammunition Ordinance no one is allowed to possess any arms or ammunition without a license.

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