A mainland Chinese businessman was arrested when entering Macao at the Barrier Gate checkpoint on Monday evening for spreading rumours on a social media platform about a robbery-murder case involving an illegal currency exchange deal in a hotel in Cotai.
Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Chan Wun Man said that the 44-year-old suspect, who frequently travels to and from Macao for business, is surnamed Yang.
Chan noted that a clip posted by Yang on social media showing a police operation in a hotel in Cotai last August, alleged that after the resumption of Macao’s Covid-19-test-free entry rules, two people had been killed and one injured in a robbery involving illegal currency exchange deal.
Chan said that the PJ attached great importance to the incident and immediately launched an investigation. After verification, he added, it was determined that the claim was “absolutely false”.
Concerned that the false claim continued to spread on the internet and was being forwarded many times, causing negative comments about Macao, the police identified Yang as the person who initially shared the clip on the internet.
Under questioning, Yang admitted to taking the clip and uploading it onto the internet, insisting that originally he had posted the clip onto a short-form video hosting platform to share his experiences in Macao with his mainland friends. Yang also admitted that he had agreed with his friends’ comments on his clip referring to “two deaths and one injury”, according to Chan.
Chan said that Yang has been transferred to the Public Prosecutions Office, facing a charge of spreading disinformation.
Chan clarified that officers at that time were at the hotel working on other cases that did not involve a robbery-murder case.
Meanwhile, the PJ yesterday underlined that fabricating evidence not only wastes police resources but also affects the normal operation of civil society, causing public disquiet.
The PJ urged the public not to trust and forward unconfirmed information on the internet, otherwise, they could be sent to prison for up to one year or be fined, The Macau Post Daily reported.