Hong Kong Police Deny Rumors of Plans for Mass Arrests: SCMP

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(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong police dismissed online rumors about plans to arrest protesters en masse this weekend, the South China Morning Post reported on Saturday.

The rumors started Thursday after speculation that a hard-line officer was being brought out of retirement to help the city cope with protests that have shaken the financial center for weeks, the newspaper said. Online rumors circulated that the police would no longer break up crowds, but arrest them immediately and charge them with rioting, an offense that could carry a maximum prison term of 10 years.

Jim Ng Lok-chun, the senior police superintendent in charge of operations on Hong Kong island, said the rumors aren’t true and that the “accusation is wrong,” according to the paper.

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