Police hunt for parks kidnap gang
POLICE are hunting five members of a kidnap gang believed to be responsible for luring businessmen to country parks and tying them up.
Investigators believe an unemployed man arrested on Saturday is a member of the group. They are uncertain how many people have been abducted by the gang.
Hong Kong Island's regional crime unit Detective Chief Inspector, David Lorimer, said: 'It is unclear why the victims were chosen. We believe the gang chose people whom they had excuses to ask to go to the park.' The 31-year-old suspect is expected to be charged this evening and to appear in court tomorrow.
Police believe the other gang members are illegal immigrants who met the leader through work on a construction site.
The first victim was a 58-year-old Chinese traditional doctor living in North Point.
He received a telephone call on August 29 from someone claiming to be the friend of a man who was injured on a hillside in Tai Tam Country Park and in need of medical treatment.
The victim went to the spot where he was ambushed and assaulted by the gang members.
Chief Inspector Lorimer said it took about three hours to walk up from Ngoi Man Street to the hill where the doctor was gagged and tied to a tree.
The victim escaped several hours later.
By that time, his family had received numerous demands for a ransom of $400,000 with threats to the man's life.
Chief Inspector Lorimer said the relatives paid $50,000 after bargaining with the kidnappers.
A second victim was abducted in similar circumstances at about 3.30 pm last Thursday.
The second-hand air-conditioner trader, 35, was lured to Tai Tam Country Park from his To Kwa Wan home for a business deal.
He was left bound and gagged in dense undergrowth in a remote area of the park after being beaten. One of his ribs was broken.
'Learning lessons from the first case, the captors tied up the second victim more tightly. Though the victim is very strong, he had to struggle for more than two hours to free himself,' the chief inspector said.
The police were called and the ransom was not paid.
Detectives yesterday took the suspect to Ngoi Man Street and Mount Parker Road - the locations from where the first and second victims respectively were abducted.