Man arrested for online message warning of Hong Kong bank collapse

Other News Materials 28 September 2008 10:19 (UTC +04:00)

A Hong Kong man has been arrested for posting a message on an online forum warning people a local bank was about to collapse, police said Sunday, according to dpa.

The arrest of the 34-year-old man came days after false rumours spread by text message that the Bank of East Asia in Hong Kong was heading for bankruptcy had triggered a run on the bank.

A police spokesman said the arrest was not connected to the run on the Bank of East Asia on Tuesday and involved a local bank which it declined to name.

The man was arrested when a message urging investors to withdraw their money from a local bank was traced back to him. He was charged with using a computer with criminal or dishonest intent.

Panicking customers withdrew more than 250 million US dollars in deposits when rumours that the Bank of East Asia was in financial difficulty spread through the city of 6.9 million.

The run on the bank's 140 branches only eased after Hong Kong's chief executive and the head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority insisted the bank was safe.