Po­lice hunt kid­nap­pers who fled with $3.6m

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By SHADOWLI in Hong Kong stushadow@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Po­lice have launched a mas­sive man­hunt for up to six men who they say es­caped with a HK$28 mil­lion ($3.6 mil­lion) ran­som in one of the big­gest kid­nap­ping cases in Hong Kong in re­cent years.

The men are said to have seized the daugh­ter of a bil­lion­aire at her luxury home at Clear­Wa­ter Bay af­ter a breakin and rob­bery on Satur­day.

Po­lice said the kid­nap­pers are from the main­land. Two are aged be­tween 26 and 29 and were wear­ing dark jack­ets, blue­jeansand­sportsshoes. One has a scar on his right palm. An­other two are 1.6 me­ters tall and wore white coats.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, five or six­masked­men­broke into the bil­lion­aire’s de­tached house and ran­sacked the premises. They took away HK$2 mil­lion in cash and valu­ables, as well as the owner’s 29-year-old daugh­ter, who was alone in the house. The fam­ily re­ported the kid­nap­ping to the po­lice, and the case was passed to the Kowloon East Re­gional CrimeUnit.

The bil­lion­aire, who is said to be in the real es­tate busi­ness, re­ceived a call from the kid­nap­pers, de­mand­ing a ran­som of HK$50 mil­lion in ex­change for his daugh­ter, say po­lice. The de­mand was later low­ered toHK$28mil­lion af­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions.

The ab­duc­tors called the bil­lion­aire again on Tues­day night tomake ar­range­ments to pick­upther­an­som, there­ports say. The money was placed in 28 bags, each con­tain­ingHK$1 mil­lion. The kid­nap­pers es­caped in a white car af­ter re­ceiv­ing the money, and of­fi­cers found the woman un­hurt in the Tse­ungKwanOdis­trict.

A city­wide man­hunt was then­launched, with­road­blocks be­ing placed on all main routes out of the city. The ar­eas af­fected in­cluded Wong Tai Sin, the Cross-Har­bour Tun­nel, Yuen Long andTse­ungKwanO.

Heav­ily armed po­lice wear­ing hel­mets and bul­let­proof jack­ets stopped sus­pi­cious ve­hi­cles, and large num­bers of of­fi­cers searched the ar­eas around the woman’s home in Kowloon Peak, also known as Fei Ngor Shan, with the as­sis­tance of he­li­copters.

Re­tired de­tec­tive Lam Kinke­ung de­scribed the crime as “well-or­ga­nized” as the sus­pects, who are not lo­cal, were able to es­cape in an un­fa­mil­iar city.

“It is pos­si­ble that the kid­nap­ping was an im­pro­vised crime,” he said. “It is likely that bur­glars came to re­al­ize that the owner of the house was rich af­ter ran­sack­ing it.”

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