Acting Police Commissioner Alan Lau has said the police will consider charging Democratic Party member Howard Lam with misleading police officers.
Last Friday, Lam said he was abducted and assaulted by suspected mainland agents in Hong Kong. He claimed that he was falsely imprisoned, interrogated and assaulted by men who inserted 21 staples into his legs.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Lam was arrested and detained by police for allegedly providing false information. Local media cited unnamed sources claiming that Lam had safely left Mong Kok around the time he claimed he was abducted. The arrest came around three hours after investigative news agency Factwire published CCTV clips appearing to contradict Lam’s version of events.
Lam claimed he was abducted at around 4pm last Thursday, but the clips showed he was walking along Portland Street in Mong Kok at 5:41pm. Then, a person with a similar figure to Lam – wearing a cap, surgical mask and sunglasses – was captured walking alone in the area.
No suspicious persons were seen during the three-minute walk. After viewing the clips, Lam said the masked man was not him, and that he did not put on a surgical mask or cap that day.
Alan Lau said Lam’s accusations of false imprisonment, intimidation and assault were serious, and the police had launched an investigation into the claims.
“Our conclusion after an investigation was that the information provided by the person who reported the case did not match with the information obtained by the police – thus we arrested the person,” Lau said. “We will consider formally charging him.”
Lau said the police will investigate Lam’s motives from all angles.
Under the Police Force Ordinance, anyone who makes a false report to the police or misleads officers by giving false information is guilty of an offence, and liable to a fine of HK$1,000 and imprisonment for six months.
On Wednesday, the police also searched on a beach in Tai Mong Tsai, Sai Kung, where Lam had said he may have been dumped by his alleged tormentors.
Officers took away an apparently bloodstained tissue and a cigarette packet as evidence.
The Democratic Party member remains in a detention ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital after becoming unwell in police custody.
On Tuesday, Democratic Party Chairman Wu Chi-wai said that his party helped Howard Lam organise last week’s press conference, where he told reporters about his alleged ordeal, based on the information he provided. Wu said that he hoped the police would complete the investigation as soon as possible and reveal the truth.