Foodpanda worker says police arrested him for ‘stealing’ delivery bag after finding protest accessory

The Foodpanda worker was finishing his shift in Tin Shui Wai when police stopped and searched him. Photo via Apple Daily
The Foodpanda worker was finishing his shift in Tin Shui Wai when police stopped and searched him. Photo via Apple Daily

A Foodpanda worker arrested by police for allegedly stealing a delivery bag said he was unfairly targeted after officers found a protest accessory in his wallet.

The man, surnamed Chiu, was stopped by police at a park in Tin Shui Wai last Saturday as he was ending his shift. When officers searched him and found a card with a “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our time” slogan in his wallet, their attitude “changed 180 degrees,” he said in an interview with Apple Daily Wednesday.

In a video the 21-year-old filmed of the arrest, an officer is seen asking him where he got his Foodpanda bag and requesting to speak with his manager.

When he demanded proof that he works for Foodpanda, such as an app on his phone, Chiu reacted defensively.

“If you want to accuse me on charges that the bag isn’t mine, you need to find the evidence,” he said, his voice raised. “I shouldn’t need to prove the bag is mine.”

The officer then asked Chiu to list the contents in his bag and if there are any special markers in it, “such as a sticker”—which Chiu denied.

Read more: Hong Kong police detain man for leading ‘Long live Liverpool’ chant, accuse him of inciting independence

When the officer opened the bag and did in fact find a sticker inside, he told Chiu that he now has grounds to arrest him. Chiu said he forgot there was a sticker in the bag as the officer yelled at him to stop recording.

Police confirmed that they stopped and searched a “suspicious” man in Tin Shui Wai last Saturday, and arrested him on a suspected theft charge.

He also faces an additional charge of assaulting a police officer at the police station where he was held. Chiu has denied the accusation.

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