HONG KONG (AP) – Hong Kong police have arrested a man for allegedly spreading rumors on the Internet about a bank run amid anxiety in the Chinese territory about the U.S. financial crisis, police said Sunday.

The man was arrested Saturday for allegedly using a computer with criminal or dishonest intent but has not been charged, police spokeswoman Odelia Tam said.

Police officers noticed Friday that the 34-year-old man left a message on an Internet discussion forum saying a run would occur on a local bank and urging people to withdraw their deposits, the Hong Kong government said in a statement late Saturday.

Last Wednesday and Thursday, hundreds of customers swarmed the Bank of East Asia’s offices in Hong Kong and Singapore demanding cash withdrawals.

Bank of East Asia and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority have issued statements reassuring customers that deposits are safe. Bank of East Asia is incorporated in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong police have also arrested 11 people in connection with a forged letter that claimed troubled U.S. insurance giant American International Group Inc. was selling an Asian subsidiary.

AIG, the world’s largest insurer, escaped bankruptcy last week after the U.S. Federal Reserve pledged a two-year, $85 billion loan to prop up the company. Thousands of nervous policyholders in Hong Kong and Singapore still chose to cash their policies out.


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