Hong Kong police have arrested Democratic Party member Howard Lam after investigations showed significant discrepancies in his account of his alleged kidnapping by mainland security agents last week, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Officers from the Regional Crime Squad of Kowloon West took Lam to Mong Kok police station from Tai Kok Tsui, where his mother lives, at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday and detained him there.
Police said Lam’s own account of the incident did not match their findings. They believe Lam had given false information to police officers.
Lam’s arrest on the grounds that he misled police officers came after he told a press conference on Friday that he was seized in Yau Ma Tei a day earlier by several men he suspected to be mainland agents and was brought to an unknown location where he was tortured while blindfolded.
He suspected his suffering might have something to do with the fact that he had been trying to send an autographed postcard by FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi to Liu Xia, widow of Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died of liver cancer while in state custody last month.
Lam refused to give a statement to the police but tried to rebut doubts about the incident on his Facebook page on Sunday.
On Monday, police said they suspect Lam’s claims were not true.
CCTV footage obtained by FactWire News Agency shows Lam walking out of a football jersey shop on Portland Street, where he claimed to have been kidnapped at about 5:41 p.m. Thursday.
A man who looked like him was caught in several video clips wearing a cap, sunglasses and face mask and walking on Hamilton Street and Pitt Street. There were no signs of any abductors.
A police source said Lam’s arrest did not mean the whole story of his alleged abduction is false, but that he was in fact not seized on Portland Street.
After watching the footage, Lam reportedly claimed he did not wear any mask or cap on Thursday and the man in it was not him.
Calling the footage bizarre, he said the man could be someone who looks like him.
He also questioned the source and authenticity of the footage.
On Monday, Lam told a radio program that he has no financial troubles or personal vendetta against anyone, adding that the ordeal terrified him and that he has decided not to make any further comment about it.
Meanwhile, 22 pan-democratic lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary for Security John Lee to demand a meeting on how to prevent mainland officers from enforcing Chinese law in Hong Kong.
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Patrick Nip said any speculation or conclusion at this time is improper because investigations are still under way.
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