The HK$530,000 cash seized by police during the arrest Hong Kong Indigenous leader Ray Wong Toi-yeung is not donation money, the localist group’s spokesperson has said.
“I understand that some people might think that the money is used by Wong Toi-yeung to flee, but I can affirmatively say that no donation money has been in Wong’s hands. It [the money] is in the safekeeping of members who have no risk of being arrested,” Hong Kong Indigenous temporary spokesperson Amber Wai Bik-kwan said on Tuesday, according to Ming Pao.
Wai added that the group would clarify to donors where their donations are.
Wong may have been arrested in connection with his participation in clashes in Mong Kok which broke out earlier this month over the government’s clearing of street hawkers. The police found HK$530,000 in cash at the Tin Shui Wai flat where he was staying, along with some chemicals, batons, “V for Vendetta” masks, Viagra pills, and battery-operated “guns”.
Some netizens noted that the “guns” could be purchased on Chinese online shopping site Taobao for less than HK$30.
The group asked for public donations on February 10, in the wake of the legal costs involved in the arrests of its members after the Mong Kok unrest. They collected more than HK$1 million in donations, Ming Pao reported.
Hong Kong Indigenous is a localist group founded after the Occupy protests in 2014. They say they want to break away from old resistance methods and uphold indigenous Hong Kong values. While localist groups support democracy, they are better known for their anti-communist stance and close association with movements promoting the expansion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and independence.