Funds story that's not quite on the money

Top News | Jane Cheung 19 Aug 2019

Suitcases and boxes filled with HK$1,000 banknotes are said to being sent to support "rioters" - but sources say it is fake news.

It originated from a Facebook page "Hong Kong is my home. Don't mess with it," which said yesterday that police have seized DHL parcels with millions of dollars.

The post came with two photos - one showing bundles of HK$1,000 notes on yellow boxes that had DHL's logo and the other showing a suitcase packed with HK$1,000 notes.

The page said police seized the parcels, which were "funds for riots."

But sources confirmed with police and DHL that it is fake and no cash has been seized.

The Standard also asked police about the cash but they have yet to reply.

The Facebook page said: "Since [Next Digital founder] Jimmy Lai's six bank accounts have been suspended, the public thought the funds for riots have been cut.

"However, yellow ribbon [protesters] revealed in online forums that they have cash amounting to HK$40 to HK$50 million and called for comrades to help carry them out of storage," it wrote.

"They even said around HK$200 million can be deployed for anti-fugitive protests but [police found out about this]."

The page criticized protesters for pretending the movement has no leader and for never making public the source of their funds.

"It turns out their cash arrived in Hong Kong by DHL. Are there moles in the Customs and Excise Department?" the page wrote.

It also criticized local media for failing to publish the news, adding that Singaporean publications reported it.

However, the page did not reference the Singaporean news report and instead wrote a disclaimer: "This page is a private site and not media. We're only responsible for sharing information. If you have questions about our posts, please verify on your own."

Another Facebook page called Kau Yim, which is known for verifying rumors and unconfirmed media reports, said yesterday that the post was fake.

Kau Yim said the picture of a suitcase filled with cash appeared on the internet a few days ago and was used by a Singaporean newspaper Sinchew on Friday, captioned: "A netizen posted a photo with massive amounts of cash, allegedly showing that he has withdrawn cash from his bank account."

Kau Yim added: "This specific photo has appeared on Lihkg forum, Weibo and personal sites, but it has not appeared on the Hong Kong Police page.

"It's a shame that accusations not backed by evidence is shared by thousands of people."

jane.cheung@singtaonewscorp.com

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