SAR man, American among victims of 'triad-linked' killings in Guangdong house

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 June, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 June, 1999, 12:00am

Officers who worked on the 'Big Spender' case have been ordered to investigate the murders of seven people, including a Hong Kong man, at a house on a Guangdong estate.

The killings on the Clifford Estate, Panyu, the victims of which also included an American, are believed to have taken place during Typhoon Maggie on Monday.

A Taiwanese news agency said an Australian was also among the victims.

There are more than 13,000 households on the estate which houses a large number of Hong Kong people.

The relationship between the victims, who were all shot, is not known and neighbours said the householders were rarely at home.

Detectives suspected professional killers, linked with triads.

A resident who lives along Seventh Street said: 'Scores of public security officers were lined up along the street after the incident.

'Many were wearing bullet-proof vests and armed with machine-guns. The street was cordoned off.' The chief of Guangdong's Public Security Bureau, Chen Shaoji, ordered a special taskforce be set up to hunt the killers.

The heads of two elite detection units have been assigned to lead the investigation.

The pair are Zhang Yongqiang, political commissar of the Public Security Bureau's criminal investigation unit and Hou Tongfen, vice-director of the bureau's serious crime unit.

Their units are among the most efficient crime investigation teams in the country and have cracked many serious cases, including the spate of crimes committed by 'Big Spender' Cheung Tze-keung.

A representative from the American consulate in Guangzhou arrived in Panyu yesterday to accompany the victim's relatives to the Panyu Funeral Parlour.

A spokesman for the US Consulate said they would offer help if requested.

The murder scene at Seventh Street was still cordoned off and anyone entering the estate needed to produce a resident's identity card.

Some residents said they had been kept in the dark about what had happened. Neither the estate management nor the mainland press had reported the killings.