China’s facial recognition cameras apprehend third fugitive Jacky Cheung concertgoer in two months
Man spotted entering stadium was wanted since 2015, having fled after dispute over alleged non-payment for US$17,200 worth of potatoes
A third Chinese fugitive in two months has been caught at a Jacky Cheung concert using facial recognition cameras, according to media reports.
The man, surnamed Yu, was identified on Sunday during security checks at the entrance to the show at Jiaxing Sports Stadium, in Jiaxing, eastern China’s Zhejiang province, Qianjiang Evening News reported.
Police later arrested Yu, who is from Shandong province, as he was leaving the stadium after the concert, which was attended by about 20,000 people.
“A few minutes after he passed through the security checkpoint, our system issued a warning that he was a wanted person,” Shen Yueguang, an official from the Nanhu District Public Security Bureau, was quoted as saying.
Yu has been sent to Jiaxing city detention centre and will be handed over to police in Shandong, about 700km (435 miles) to the north, reported news site Thepaper.cn.
He is under investigation for a 2015 dispute in which he is accused of not paying for 110,000 yuan (US$17,200) worth of potatoes he had bought, after which he fled Shandong province, the report said.
Yu had been listed online as a wanted man, and had been living under his younger brother’s name, which he used to open a small inn in Xitang, a town in Zhejiang, the report said.
The arrest is the third such incident in two months, all of them in eastern China.
On April 7, a 31-year-old man, identified by his family name Ao, was detained at Cheung’s concert in Nanchang, in Jiangxi province.
Facial recognition helped identify him in a crowd of about 50,000 people, leading to his arrest for unspecified economic crimes.
He had driven 90km to see the concert with his wife and was quoted as saying he thought he would be safe in such a large crowd.
On May 5, a man surnamed Liu was caught in Zhangzhou, in Fujian province, also while at a Cheung concert.
China has been spearheading the use of cameras to monitor its population. In 2015, the Ministry of Public Security began a project to build the world’s most powerful facial recognition system.
Its goal was to be able to identify any of the country’s citizens within three seconds, by matching someone’s face with their ID photo.
Uses of the technology have included catching unlicensed drivers and monitoring school pupils’ attentiveness in class.
Dubbed the “God of Songs”, and also an actor, 56-year-old Cheung is one of Hong Kong’s best-known celebrities. He has been on a world tour since 2016, performing more than 140 concerts, and has a huge following on the mainland. His label, Universal, said it had no comment to make on the incident.