A Hong Kong district councillor was charged with attempted criminal intimidation on Wednesday in connection with an online message posted 16 months ago that contained a picture of a knife.
Yuen Long District Council member Ben Ho Wai-pan was arrested at his home in Tin Shui Wai at about 7am over a Facebook post from March 21 last year. Ho resigned as a councillor hours after being detained.
In the message, the 31-year-old reportedly described a “sweep” he was planning aimed at removing an illegal gambling den at a public housing estate.
Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.
Ho said he was responding to complaints regarding the noise caused by the gamblers outside Yiu Yat House at Tin Yi Estate in Tin Shui Wai.
Chief Inspector AuYeung Tak, who only referred to Ho by his surname, said that in the post the district councillor had “also claimed he had a rod, knife, and saw, and he also posted a photograph of a knife online”.
Police began investigating following an anonymous complaint, and officers arrested Ho after twice seeking advice from the Department of Justice.
During the raid on the suspect’s home, officers seized two computers and a knife, which AuYeung said matched the description of the weapon posted online.
Ho was granted court bail and must appear before Tuen Mun Court on Friday next week.