Police are investigating a senior officer from its national security department after he was allegedly found in an unlicensed massage parlour during a raid.
A police spokesperson told HKFP on Wednesday that Director of National Security Frederic Choi had been placed on leave pending an investigation into alleged misconduct.
“The police attach great importance to the conduct of police officers and will certainly conduct fair and impartial investigations and follow-ups in accordance with the established mechanism,” a spokesperson told HKFP, adding that the officer concerned had been put on leave.
Lawmaker Regina Ip told reporters at the legislature on Wednesday to remember that Hong Kong is a common law jurisdiction which adopts the principle of “innocent until proven guilty”
The police national security department was established to enforce Beijing’s national security law for Hong Kong imposed last June, which criminalises secession, subversion, collusion with foreign powers and acts of terror. The department has since arrested over 100 people and charged 57 under the sweeping legislation.
The US sanctioned Choi and five other officials in January for their roles in what it saw as the undermining of Hong Kong’s autonomy and the restricting of its freedoms. The following month, the city’s leader Carrie Lam honoured him and six others for their work and “personal sacrifices” in safeguarding the region’s national security.
Choi joined the force in 1995 and became Senior Assistant Commissioner in 2020, commanding the national security department under Deputy Commissioner Edwina Lau.