The police on Sunday said that they're investigating whether former lawmaker Ted Hui breached the national security law and was involved in money laundering, as they offered an explanation as to why HK$850,000 of his funds have been frozen.
The news emerged as Hui, who has gone into exile in Britain with members of his family, revealed that accounts belonging to his family had been unfrozen. They were among at least five accounts Hui said had been frozen last week.
Several million dollars of life savings were involved, he said, adding that the banks involved didn't explain the reason behind the move.
Hui said some funds in his personal account had also been unfrozen, and his family had immediately transferred the savings to other institutions because they felt they could not trust HSBC.
The police confirmed that they had frozen funds belonging to the former opposition lawmaker as it launched investigations into Hui.
"The police force is investigating a person involved with the direction that he or she is suspected of breaching the national security law and money laundering," it said.
The force said the person was suspected of embezzling funds raised from online crowd-funding, and using the accounts of family members to deal with the money. The person involved is also suspected of endangering national security by colluding with foreign forces, the force said.
It added that the "fugitive" is wanted and it had frozen money in the bank accounts involved amounting to around HK$850,000.
Hui, who had been on bail on charges relating to protests said the funds he raised online last year have no links to his or his family members' bank accounts.
In a statement on social media, he said the money collected to pay for private prosecutions relating to last year's social unrest has been kept in the bank account of a law firm.
The private prosecutions Hui brought were blocked by the Department of Justice.
Last updated: 2020-12-07 HKT 08:43