Police said on Monday that they had arrested a 30-year-old man on suspicion of money laundering, suggesting his alleged crime was somehow linked to a recent crowdfunding exercise he had launched.
RTHK understands the man is former primary school teacher Yeung Pok-man, who in September was sentenced to nine weeks in prison for kneeing a police officer in the stomach at the height of last year's anti-government protests.
Police chief inspector Tang Hoi-tung said the arrestee had claimed on the internet that he wanted to raise HK$500,000 to pay for his family's medical and daily expenses because he had lost his job following his conviction.
But Tang said the man received more than HK$5.8 million between September 8 and October 24, far exceeding the HK$500,000 target he had mentioned.
She said there is good reason to suspect that he had abused people’s sympathy by claiming he was facing financial difficulties, and had attempted to cover up money received from "illegal sources".
Tang did not explain why the force suspected he had funds which were illegal or how such funds could have been illegally obtained.
She did add that they believe the man may be involved in other criminal offences including fraud, but did not offer any details to back up this allegation.
The chief inspector also told the media that the man and his family members between them owned two properties worth HK$13 million, although it was not clear why this information was provided.
Yeung had made an online appeal on social media the day after he was sentenced on September 8, disclosing his bank account details and saying he was jobless and wanted to raise money to support his parents. A day later, he said he had achieved the HK$500,000 target and announced he would stop receiving donations.
Earlier that week, his lawyer had told Fanling Magistrates' Court that Yeung had been sacked from his primary school following his conviction for the assault, which happened when he was stopped by police in Sheung Shui on November 11 last year for driving his car too slowly. He was released on bail after the court hearing pending an appeal.
Ahead of sentencing, a magistrate had sent Yeung to Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre saying she was concerned he might have a personality disorder. The High Court ordered his release from the institution after a week.