China’s mainland law enforcement agency earlier this week apprehended a group of 12 suspected of trying to flee Hong Kong for Taiwan by speed boat, Hong Kong police told dpa on Friday.
Police believe the group, all of whom are said to be from Hong Kong, was trying to escape to Taiwan.
The confirmation follows Wednesday’s post on the Chinese social media site Weibo by Guangdong Coastal Police stating they had apprehended more than 10 people travelling in a speedboat on suspicion of illegally crossing the border.
Deputy Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council of Taiwan Chiu Chiu-cheng responded by saying Taiwan discouraged anyone from making the illegal crossing to the country.
Prominent activist Andy Li, who was arrested with media Mogul Jimmy Lai and Agnes Chow earlier this month for alleged national security violations before posting bail for 200,000 Hong Kong dollars (U.S. 25,800 U.S. dollars) was reportedly among those arrested trying to flee Hong Kong for Taiwan.
Some of those arrested have been linked to a foiled bomb plot last December, the South China Morning Post reported.
Before his initial arrest Li had been actively involved in non-governmental advocacy work focusing on the rights and freedoms of Hong Kongers.
Police crackdowns have intensified following China’s implementation of a national security law on Hong Kong at the end of June.