Hong Kong Police arrested a 32-year-old man in connection with a fraudulent press release distributed over the Internet that purported to detail new government measures to cool the property market.
The man was charged with access to a computer “with criminal or dishonest intent” and released on police bail, according to the statement, confirmed by the government’s press room. Two sets of computers and a mobile phone were seized for further examination in the investigation, the police said.
Police didn’t identify the man arrested in the city’s Happy Valley district by officers of the Technology Crime Division of Commercial Crime Bureau. He faces as long as five years in prison if convicted, they said.
Hong Kong’s government said on Feb. 8, before the five-day Chinese New Year break, that the statement was false, and had been referred to police.
The Hang Seng Property Index fell 2.8 percent on Feb. 5, the most since Oct. 29, after Hong Kong Monetary Authority Chief Executive Norman Chan said the previous day that more steps to cool the housing market were possible as household debt rises toward record levels.