Eight Hongkongers who were jailed in Shenzhen after an alleged failed attempt to flee to Taiwan by speedboat were handed over to SAR authorities on Monday after completing their prison sentences.
Shortly after 10am, several cars with drawn curtains crossed the border at Shenzhen Bay and travelled to Tin Shui Wai Police Station. Further batches of vehicles were seen in the afternoon, although it wasn't clear who was inside on each occasion.
TV footage caught two people wearing handcuffs and black hoods on their heads being taken into the station.
"HKPF states that the eight suspects were returned after completion of legal proceedings by the mainland authorities," a Hong Kong police statement said.
The eight detainees – Andy Li, Cheng Tsz-ho, Yim Man-him, Cheung Ming-yu, Cheung Chun-fu, Wong Wai-yin, Li Tsz-yin and Kok Tsz-lun – were in December convicted of illegally crossing the border and were sentenced to seven months in prison following a closed-door trial.
The men, aged between 19 and 31, were among 12 Hongkongers who were caught by the Guangdong coast guard in August last year.
Two other defendants, Tang Kai-yin and Quinn Moon, will remain in prison in Shenzhen, after being convicted of organising an illegal border crossing. Tang was jailed for three years and Quinn two years.
Another two detainees, who were under 18 at the time of their arrest, were not put on trial and were sent back to Hong Kong in December.
Among the group, 11 had been facing prosecution in Hong Kong in connection with anti-government protests, while one had been arrested, but not charged, under the national security law.
One of the two earlier returnees was subsequently charged with failing to surrender to custody, while prosecutors told a court that the other teenager could be charged with absconding.
Last updated: 2021-03-22 HKT 17:24