Police: No evidence to back up activist’s abduction claim
Hong Kong police have found no evidence to back up a claim by local activist Howard Lam Tsz-kin that he was abducted by five “Mandarinspeaking” men in Mong Kok following two days of investigations.
Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu said on Sunday the police have been conducting an extensive probe, checking video footages from surveillance cameras in the district where the alleged abduction took place, searching for witnesses and talking with people with possible links to the case to try to establish the facts.
But so far, they have failed to gather any information to substantiate Lam’s allegations. Lee urged members of the public with any information to come forward, and allow the police more time to investigate.
Responding to media enquiries on Friday, the Office of the Chief Executive said it’s inadvisable to make unfounded conjectures or allegations without any evidence or facts.
Lam claimed that his “abductors” also tortured him using staples after forcing him onto a van on Portland Street last Thursday evening, and found himself dumped on a beach in Sai Kung early the next day (Friday).
He alleged that his “abductors” spoke Mandarin and told him they were security agents from the Chinese mainland — an allegation that may trigger public fears about mainland officers enforcing mainland laws in Hong Kong.
Although the incident occurred in one of the city’s busiest shopping areas, with at least six surveillance cameras installed at various shops, officers from Kowloon West Regional Headquarters could not find any proof of Lam’s claims.
Political heavyweights, meanwhile, have urged the police to find the truth as soon as possible to end speculation that may have caused public worries.
Executive Council member and lawmaker Wong Kwok-kin said Lam’s account of what had happened has drawn public skepticism, and hoped that police investigations could soon address those concerns.
He believed that the alleged incident would not hurt public confidence in the co-location arrangement plan for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, which calls for mainland law enforcement officers to be stationed at the project’s West Kowloon Terminus to simplify the immigration and customs procedures for passengers traveling to and from the mainland.
Wong said those who consider the matter rationally will not link the alleged case with the co-location plan.
Starry Lee Wai-king, chairwoman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), said accusing mainland officers of enforcing laws in Hong Kong is a serious allegation. She hoped the public should not exaggerate the incident as police investigations are ongoing and, so far, they have yielded no evidence to back up Lam’s claims.
John Lee also said on Sunday that victims should report crimes to the police as soon as possible to help them gather evidence and hunt down suspects. He said victims, especially those who were injured, should not defer reporting to the police, and their injuries might worsen without prompt medical attention.
Lam reported to the police only after he had had the staples removed at a hospital on Friday afternoon after holding a press conference.