A man fell ill after consuming a packaged chocolate drink which might have been spiked using a syringe.
The 43-year-old company manager felt dizzy, abdominal pain and experienced vomiting after drinking the 250ml packet of Vitasoy chocolate milk he bought from a 7-Eleven store at Ngau Tau Kok MTR station on Wednesday.
He was taken to the United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong for treatment and later discharged. But he returned on Thursday to the hospital, and his condition was now stable.
During an investigation, officers found a suspected syringe hole covered by the fold at the top of the drink carton.
They found no further signs of tampering after checking other packaged drinks in the store.
A Vitasoy spokesman said it had checked the product’s retention samples and they were found to be normal. It said it would cooperate with police in the investigation. For inquiries, customers can call its hotline on 2468 9645.
Chief inspector Yin Hiu-yu from Sau Mau Ping district said it was not known whether there were any poisonous substances in the man’s drink, which was being examined by the government laboratory.
Tests would also be conducted on the man’s blood and urine samples.
A police source said it was believed the suspected contaminated beverage was placed in a fridge in the convenience store shortly before the victim bought it.
Police were still investigating a possible motive, but the source said: “It is possible [the culprits] targeted females because women like the milk drink.
“Women tend to be fans of chocolate beverages. They also drink them immediately after buying them from convenience stores.”
The source added that the culprit could have been waiting outside the store for dazed victims – a common tactic of criminals on the mainland.
A spokesman for 7-Eleven said it believed the incident was isolated and it would assist in the police investigation by providing security camera footage.
It was understood that the chain had not received any blackmailing or threatening messages. It also had no plans to shelve its packaged drink products as the case was not regarded as a food safety issue.
The Sau Mau Ping district crime squad was investigating.
Police appealed for members of the public to call 3661 6245 if they had information on the case.