The Security Bureau said on Friday that Hong Kong police have received notification from their mainland counterparts about the arrest of 12 Hong Kong people by the Guangdong coastguard earlier this week.
The police said they have been notified that 12 people aged 16 to 33 are being detained in the mainland, for alleged illegal entry.
The police said they will continue to keep close contact and collaborate with the mainland authorities.
Multiple media reports had earlier said they were picked up as they were attempting to flee to Taiwan in a speedboat, and were detained for illegally entering mainland territory.
The Guangdong coastguard hasn't given any details about the arrests but a report by the pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po newspaper cited sources as saying they were detained on Sunday.
The Wen Wei Po report said they set off from Sai Kung, and had planned to travel to Taiwan.
It said they travelled slowly to evade detection by Hong Kong marine police but were caught by the Guangdong coastguard who used speed boats to chase them down.
Multiple reports said local activist Andy Li – who was arrested earlier this month for alleged national security law violations – was in the group detained. Wen Wei Po said the others include suspects who've been charged in connection with a suspected home-made bomb found by Wah Yan College in Wan Chai last year.
Pro-Beijing lawmaker Priscilla Leung, who's also a barrister, said mainland authorities could try the suspects for any crimes they're alleged to have committed in Hong Kong if these acts were also linked to the mainland.
Mainland confirms arrest of 12 'who fled to Taiwan'
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