• Sat
  • Oct 25, 2014
  • Updated: 6:09pm

Freed kidnap victim 'one of richest men'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 March, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 March, 1999, 12:00am
 

A businessman freed after being held for a $30 million ransom was revealed yesterday to be 'one of Hong Kong's richest men'.


Chan Kwai-hung, chairman of Kwai Hung Realty Company, was blindfolded, gagged and bound for 24 hours before his rescue.


A source said last night five mainlanders were believed to have been brought to Hong Kong illegally to carry out the kidnapping.


Staff at Mr Chan's company said he was in good health.


The 66-year-old tycoon, who lives with his wife, daughter, son-in-law and two sons on the Peak, deals in older properties and is believed to have about $1 billion in assets. Mr Chan, who keeps a low profile, is also involved in finance, stock investments and construction.


In 1997, he was rated one of Hong Kong's richest men by Capital magazine.


The five illegal immigrants - four men and a woman - were among 12 people arrested in a swoop by 200 police officers.


The $30 million ransom was recovered.


The victim's ordeal began at about 9pm on Sunday when he was bundled into a car in Wan Chai. He was alone and on his way home after dinner.


He was driven to a Kau Wa Keng residential unit in Lai Chi Kok where he was put under guard.


His family received a telephone call demanding $30 million at about 8am on Monday and then sought help from police five hours later.


The ransom was handed over in a travel bag by one of his family in Yau Ma Tei at about 6pm.


Two hours later, officers broke into the residential unit and overpowered a man who was guarding the victim.


An automatic Colt pistol, three bullets and another three pistols were seized.


Plain-clothes officers followed other gang members who had collected the ransom and intercepted them in Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.


The $30 million was found under the car's rear passenger seat.


Officers also raided two residential units in Lockhart Road and Hennessy Road and another six women and another man were arrested.


'We are investigating whether the seized pistol was brought to Hong Kong by them, what roles they played in the incident and when and how they came to Hong Kong,' the source said.


No charges had been laid against any of the 12 last night.


The incident is the latest in a spate of kidnappings and blackmail threats that police believe could be inspired by the publicity surrounding 'Big Spender' Cheung Tze-keung.


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