In Brief

Real-life ‘Robin Hood’ rains banknotes on Hong Kong

Man arrested after money thrown from rooftop in one of the region’s poorest districts

A man has been arrested over a viral stunt in which thousands of banknotes were thrown from a rooftop in one of Hong Kong’s poorest districts, causing a stampede on the street below.

Live videos appeared online on Saturday afternoon showing HK$100 (£10) bills raining down in the Sham Shui Po district, in “a scene like something out of a movie”, says The New Zealand Herald. As much as HK$200,000 (£20,000) is believed to have been scooped up by delighted bystanders.

Footage uploaded to a Facebook page promoting cryptocurrencies shows a man wearing a black hoodie, and with what appears to be a longbow over his shoulder, giving a speech in Cantonese on the street before the cash is thrown. 

The man, whom The Times likens to a “Robin Hood” figure, announces that it is a “big day”, adding: “I hope everyone here will pay attention to this important event… I don’t know whether any of you will believe money can fall from the sky.”

The ensuring chaos as the banknotes fluttered down from a nearby building saw police sealing off the street, although only a small amount of the money was recovered. 

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that officers later arrested digital currency tycoon Wong Ching-kit - known online as Coin Young Master - who is believed to be behind Epoch Cryptocurrency, the Facebook page on which the video appeared. 

In another video posted on the page shortly after the stunt, Wong claimed he was “robbing the rich to help the poor”. He also invited his Facebook followers to enter a contest involving virtual currency trading.

Barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung said Wong had breached the public order ordinance by causing disorder in a public place. “How did he do his promotion? He wanted to create chaos to do it,” Luk said.

The maximum penalty for such an offence is a HK$5,000 (£506) fine and 12 months in prison.

Luk also said that if passers-by pick up lost money and do not report it to the police, they are technically breaking the law.

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