The strange case of a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist who claimed mainland Chinese agents stapled his legs as a warning has taken another twist after police arrested him on suspicion of providing false information.

The Chinese-ruled city's police force said they arrested Howard Lam early Tuesday.

Lam made waves last week with his eye-catching allegations, in which he claimed he was abducted and rendered unconscious by unknown men.

He said they warned him not to try sending a signed photo of soccer star Lionel Messi to the widow of late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo. Then they stapled his legs with Xs because of his Christianity.

Police said they investigated but the results don't match what Lam said in his report.