Hong Kong’s national security police have arrested a former top executive of Next Digital, the publisher of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, over alleged fraud. The tabloid was founded by media tycoon Jimmy Lai, who is facing security law charges.

Stephen Ting Ka-yu, 61, was arrested on Tuesday in Central, after an investigation by the police national security department. He was detained, a police statement said.

Stephen Ting Ka-Yu. Photo: Apple Dail.y

Ting was a top executive at the company for 18 years until the end of 2015. Ting served as Next Digital’s chief operating and financial officer and was an executive director when he resigned.

National security police raided Apple Daily’s headquarters in August last year. Ten people were arrested during the same operation, including Lai, the company’s founder, two of his sons, and several senior executives over alleged conspiracy to commit fraud and collusion with foreign forces – a new offence under the security law imposed by Beijing a month before.

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The company’s CFO, the CEO at the time, and Lai have all been accused of committing fraud in connection with a secretarial company operating at Apple Daily’s Tseung Kwan O office.

Prosecutors said there may have been a violation of a lease condition which allowed the company to use its premises only to run creative industry-related businesses.

Selina Cheng

Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.