Gangster Yip's hospital stay

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 November, 1999, 12:00am

CONVICTED gangster Yip Kai-foon is back in Stanley Prison this week after spending more than a fortnight in Queen Mary Hospital amid reports his health had deteriorated.

Yip, 37, a notorious gunman who was once Hong Kong's most wanted criminal, needed intensive care for intestinal and bladder complications, prison sources told the Sunday Morning Post.

The paralysed former gangster, who is serving 36 years for a series of crimes including escaping from custody, kidnapping, shooting at police and the possession of explosives, was said to be 'extremely depressed and quite ill'.

He ended up in a wheelchair after a bullet lodged in his spine when he was shot by police in Kennedy Town in May 1996.

The Correctional Services Department has refused to divulge details of Yip's movements for security reasons.

But the Post has been told he was taken under heavily armed guard from the hospital wing of Stanley Prison to Queen Mary Hospital's custodial ward on October 27.

A 24-hour armed guard was maintained at the ward.

It is understood Yip was admitted due to a bladder condition which needed surgery at Queen Mary Hospital earlier this year.

Yip made a sensational escape from the hospital in 1989 when his handcuffs were removed. He threatened guards, hijacked a car and fled.

'He was in a bad way and needed intensive-care treatment. He is a shadow of the man he was and has become depressed after his family members in China fell foul of the law,' said a prison source.

Yip was discharged and returned to Stanley Prison on Tuesday.

Most the time since he was jailed in 1997 has been spent in Stanley's hospital wing.

While in jail, Yip was allegedly paid $75 million out of 'Big Spender' Cheung Tze-keung's kidnapping haul.

Yip's brothers, Kai-chung, 30, and Kai-yuk, 39, were sentenced to three and two years respectively in November last year for hiding cash and valuables for Cheung's gang.