Posted on: May 13, 2024, 08:49h. 

Last updated on: May 13, 2024, 10:00h.

The ringleader of a hardcore faction of Hong Kong pro-democracy protestors gambled away HK$300K (US$38K) that he was supposed to spend on bombs and weapons.

Dragon Slaying Brigade, Hong Kong protests, Wong Chun-keung
A gas mask-wearing anti-government protestor flings a tear gas canister back at the police during demonstrations in 2019. The Dragon Slaying Brigade was the “most violent” of protest groups, according to local media. (Image: SCMP)

Wong Chun-Keung is the former ringleader of the “Dragon Slaying Brigade,” which plotted to attack police with firearms and explosive devices at the height of the 2019-20 anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong.

‘Kill Police’

Now cooperating with authorities in a bid for a reduced sentence, Wong admitted during a court testimony last week that he raised the HK$300K via a crowdfunding Telegram channel.

He promised donors he would use their money to “kill as many police officers as possible.” The fund would also help him flee to Taiwan once the deed was done, he claimed.

But he told the Hong Kong High Court that instead of purchasing weapons, he gambled the money away on soccer to blow off steam.

“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, as reported by The South China Morning Post. “It was indeed not a good approach, but this was what I thought at that time.”

Bomb Plot Guilty Plea

In February, Wong pleaded guilty to conspiracy to plant two bombs in Wan Chai, a busy commercial district of Hong Kong, on Dec. 8, 2019. He also admitted one count of conspiracy to provide or collect property to commit terrorist acts.

Six male defendants and one female have denied the charges and are on trial in Hong Kong’s High Court.

Wong testified that he was the sole member of the group to have control of the finances and that fellow members of the Dragon Slaying Brigade didn’t know about his gambling habit.

‘Most Violent’

Hong Kong was beset by waves of violent demonstrations in 2019 and 2020. That’s after the pro-Beijing government proposed a bill that would have allowed local authorities to extradite “fugitives” to mainland China without legislative oversight.

Protestors feared the bill would undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and place critics of mainland China in danger of political retribution from Beijing.

The Dragon Slaying Brigade has been described by local media as “the most violent” of the groups of protestors. It took its name from its intended target: the specialist riot contingent of the Hong Kong Police Force, known as “the Raptors.”

Wong said he had a desire to kill police officers but didn’t intend to cause harm to innocent bystanders. He claims he was beaten by police after his arrest.

Under cross examination, he denied exaggerating the roles of other defendants to receive a lighter sentence for himself.

The trial continues.

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