Ex-HK lawmaker: some bank accounts unfrozen

HONG KONG: Former Hong Kong democracy lawmaker and activist Ted Hui, who fled to Britain after facing criminal charges, said some of his bank accounts had been unfrozen and he had moved funds swiftly from HSBC, adding he no longer trusted the global bank.
Hui, who faces charges linked to anti-government demonstrations in the Chinese-ruled city last year, said on Sunday his Hong Kong bank accounts had been frozen after he left the city to seek exile in Britain with his family to continue his pro-democracy activities. “Due to complete distrust of HSBC in Hong Kong, my family has immediately transferred their savings to some safe places,” Hui said on his Facebook page.
HSBC did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Hui, who was one of several opposition lawmakers who quit the Legislative Council last month in protest at the dismissal of four colleagues in what they called another push by Beijing to suppress democracy in the city, urged Hong Kong and international financial regulators to investigate his case.
The veteran activist had told Reuters via social media on Sunday that bank accounts belonging to him, his wife and his parents at Bank of China Hong Kong, HSBC and Hang Seng Bank were frozen. He gave no further details.
HSBC has found itself caught in the cross-hairs of pro-democracy protests in the former British colony, its biggest market, with its branches vandalised during some rallies.
Some protesters have accused HSBC of being complicit in action by the authorities against activists, accusations the bank has denied. “We do not comment on the details of individual accounts,” a Hang Seng Bank spokesman said by email.
Bank of China did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Hong Kong police said late on Sunday they were investigating a Hong Kong person, who had absconded overseas with bank accounts being frozen, for suspected money laundering and possible violation of the new national security law. It was not immediately clear who police were referring to. — Reuters