Police today said they received reports earlier this month of commercial businesses being blackmailed by a group claiming to be a democratic alliance.

 

At a press conference today, Police Public Relations Branch Acting Chief Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung said the force accords high priority to such cases and are carrying out an active investigation.

 

Mr Kong said: “A group which claimed to be a democratic alliance sent messages by fax and email to businesses, threatening to wreck their shops unless the victims fund violent protests by bitcoin.

 

“The intimidating messages even included videos of rioters inflicting extensive damage to shops over the past few weeks.”

 

He appealed to the public and shop owners to report any cases of blackmail or intimidation by calling 5975-3133 or by emailing appeal@police.gov.hk.

 

Mr Kong also said Police made another alarming observation of rioters setting up illegal roadblocks.

 

“There are reports of rioters building illegal barricades, intercepting passing vehicles on main roads and forcing drivers and passengers to show their belongings and mobile phones.”

He stressed that officers will take swift enforcement action against illegal roadblocks.

 

“These illegal roadblocks pose a grave danger to road users. We have stepped up efforts to smash illegal roadblocks.”