The Customs Department on Monday denied claims it is engaging in "political repression" as it arrested a second member of the pro-democracy group Demosisto for allegedly lying about the origin of face masks being sold in the city.
The group said its vice chairman Isaac Cheng, 20, was the latest to be arrested, after activist Tobias Leung, 24, was arrested last Friday as more than 32,000 masks worth more than HK$93,000 were seized.
Customs say the pair are suspected of violating the Trade Descriptions Ordinance over a declaration on the boxes of masks which says "Not made in China".
"The 20-year-old man arrested today has been released on bail and case investigation is ongoing," Customs said in a statement, describing Cheng as an "online trader's director".
It then went on to reject claims that it is targeting the group because of its political stance.
"Customs strongly condemns any false accusation maliciously alleging that its law enforcement action against the trader is 'political repression'," the statement said.
"The department stresses that its 'Guardian' operation, which has been running since January this year, aims to ensure that common protective items available for sale in the market comply with the regulation of relevant ordinances."
On Monday morning, Commissioner of Customs and Excise Hermes Tang was one of a number of disciplined services chiefs who issued statements welcoming Beijing's plan to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong.
"The department will collaborate with other disciplinary forces in protecting Hong Kong and safeguarding national security under the guidance of the Security Bureau," he said.
Another Demosisto member arrested over face masks
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