The Public Security Police (PSP) of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) has apprehended seven boys and a girl, aged between 12 and 16, for their alleged involvement in at least five arson attacks, the Macao Post Daily reported on Thursday.
The eight suspects, of whom three are jobless junior middle-school dropouts and the others are all local students, have been transferred to the SAR's Court of First Instance for further investigations, according to the daily.
The five arson attacks, which the arrested minors were allegedly involved, took place in the northern district of the city midnight Wednesday, the daily quoted a PSP spokesman as saying. The suspects allegedly set alight abandoned objects and vehicles near different residential buildings and restaurants.
Among the five suspects, a 15 year-old boy was believed to be the "kingpin" of the minor gang, who allegedly offered the others free drinks, food and access to online games once they committed arson attacks, according to the daily, which quoted information from the PSP.
But the arrested 15-year-old has refused to tell the police his motive for the attacks, according to the daily.
Under the Macao Penal Code, minors under the age of 16 cannot be held responsible for their crimes, but they can be ordered by the authorities to undergo "non-penal" correctional measures, such as counseling.