A YouTuber in Hong Kong and one of his assistants have been arrested over unlawful detention after a video of a meeting he allegedly set up to catch a suspected paedophile went viral on the internet.
In the 12-minute clip posted to the channel of Rock Gor, or Brother Rock, the 23-year-old victim is seen being cowed into kneeling on the pavement of a Kowloon City street last month. As Brother Rock threatens to make a report to police, the victim is heard saying “sorry” and begging for them to “let me go”.
Police on Monday said they were searching for three other men believed to have helped film the incident, which took place on Grampian Road on July 11.
Officers also arrested the victim on suspicion of possession of child pornography after searching his mobile phone.
“More than 100 videos and over 50 photos of child pornography were found on his mobile phone,” Inspector Wong Chi-ting of Kowloon City district crime squad said.
Possession of child pornography is punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of HK$1 million (US$128,400).
The YouTuber, 25, said in the clip he had pretended to be a 13-year-old boy and arranged to meet the victim after learning he might be a paedophile.
According to Wong, the victim turned up at the location and was confronted by the five men. He was accused of demanding indecent photos from underage boys and luring them into performing illegal acts.
“The five men demanded the victim kneel and stole his mobile phone in the incident,” she said.
Crime squad officers began investigating the case after the video was posted online and drew the attention of authorities.
After identifying the men involved, officers carried out a series of raids in Fanling and Western and Wong Tai Sin districts between Thursday and Sunday.
Wong urged the public not to engage in vigilantism. “A report should be made to police immediately if they suspect a crime has occurred,” she said.