A Hong Kong man linked to the city’s pro-democracy opposition was arrested in China over a plot to use a drone to disrupt a visit to the city by a top Communist Party member, state media reported yesterday.
The man identified as a 56-year-old Hongkonger named Guo, who had “financed several figures in the (Hong Kong) opposition”, was arrested in Shenzhen, Xinhua said.
According to the report, a member of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement “had told Mr. Guo to buy a drone” that would be used for “disruptive activities” during next week’s visit to the city by the third-ranked member of China’s communist party Zhang Dejiang.
Zhang, the chairman of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, who is also responsible for Hong Kong affairs, is scheduled to meet with business leaders and member of the local parliament during the trip.
The Hong Kong police confirmed the arrest yesterday.
“We received a notification from (the) mainland this morning and we are trying to seek more information about this,” assistant commissioner of police Nelson Cheng told reporters.
He added protesters will be banned from using drones during Zhang’s visit.
“We will by all necessary means prevent any suspicious objects from entering the security zone,” Cheng said.
Zhang is the most senior member of China’s communist part to visit Hong Kong since the Umbrella Movement protests paralysed parts of the city for months in 2014.
Guo was described by the Shenzhen police as the “head of a criminal gang” who was also arrested for money laundering, telephone fraud and the illegal sale of over 800 Hong Kong residency cards, according to Xinhua.
Four other people – one Hongkonger and three Chinese – were also arrested.