Three members of a British rock band, This Town Needs Guns (TTNG), and a musician from a US band, Mylets, were arrested by Hong Kong police on Sunday evening and accused of performing in an industrial building without working visas.
At around 11pm, Apple Daily reports, undercover immigration officers showed their ID badges to staff at Hidden Agenda, an indie music venue on 80 Hung To Road in Kwun Tong in Kowloon.
The officers attempted to escort the performers – whom they accused of working illegally in the city – and Hui Chung-wo, Hidden Agenda’s founder, who is accused of employing illegal workers. However, their operation was obstructed by audience members and, following a call for help, some 30 police officers with shields and a police dog arrived on the scene.
Seven people in total – including Hui, a member of staff, an audience and four musicians were arrested, Hidden Agenda said in a statement on its Facebook page.
On March 7, two undercover officers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and Lands Department raided Hidden Agenda, claiming it was being run as an entertainment venue without a license.
Hui told media that Hidden Agenda was striving to promote a local indie music scene but had been unable to find a suitable venue due to outdated industrial building regulations.
Civic Party lawmaker Jeremy Tam Man-ho, who arrived at Hidden Agenda at midnight – before Hui was taken away by the police – said the government should review its industrial building regulations and launch policies to support the development of music culture.