Police have frozen more than HK$70 million raised to support protesters and arrested four people for money laundering in Hong Kong over suspicions the funds were used for personal gain and other illegal activities.
Acting senior superintendent Chan Wai-kei said the four, aged between 17 and 50, were arrested during a raid today in which officers seized HK$130,000 in cash, and receipts of HK$160,000 in supermarket coupons; two laser pointers, six arrows; and a large amount of gear such as helmets and gas masks.
Chan said the suspects were related to fundraising platform Spark Alliance, which had collected about HK$80 million over the past six months. Officers froze more than HK$70 million, with investigations underway over usage for the remaining sum.
While the platform’s website said the money would be channelled into supporting people arrested during protests, police suspected it was used to purchase insurance products for individuals in the group.
“We also do not exclude the possibility that the funds were used as a reward to encourage teens to come out and join the civil unrest,” Chan said.
The Spark Alliance is one of two main fundraising platforms for the protests, the other being the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which provides legal, medical and emotional support for those wounded and arrested because of the social movement.