Bankbooks from Mongkok gang swoop show $1m in transactions

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 July, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 July, 2001, 12:00am

A gang which allegedly offered money laundering and other help to Hong Kong's most wanted man, Kwai Ping-hung, had bank transaction records of more than $1 million, investigators have found.

The transaction records were shown in bankbooks seized during raids on 17 premises by 200 officers on Wednesday. Twenty-five people were arrested in the raids, including nine gang members.

The suspects were allegedly involved in money laundering, handling stolen property or otherwise aiding the seven-man armed gang, which is believed to be led by Kwai.

'The amount of transactions shown on the bankbooks ranged from several hundred thousand dollars to $1 million,' a source said. Police were still calculating the total amount of the transactions involved.

Kwai and his gang members will soon be put on Interpol's worldwide wanted list.

The gang is suspected of being involved in the shooting of two police officers in Mongkok in May and staging a $1.5 million watch robbery in the same district last month.

Among the 25 people arrested - who are aged between 22 to 68 - a 40-year-old woman was granted bail of $10,000, while two men and four women were released unconditionally.

The remaining 18 arrested were still being detained last night.

Police also seized luxury watches, a 50cm-long knife and various documents during the operation.

Detectives were still verifying if the seized watches were part of the $1.5 million haul stolen from a watch shop in the Pioneer Centre in Nathan Road, Mongkok, on June 25.

Three gunmen, allegedly members of the Kwai gang, fired two shots during the robbery. Staff said one of the men appeared to be holding a grenade.

The gang is also believed to be linked to the May 22 shooting of constables Sze Kwan-ming and Lai Chi-wai.

The officers were gunned down at close range by four men, one of whom was Kwai, police say. Both suffered serious injuries.

Police have offered a $2 million reward for information leading to the conviction of Kwai and his six accomplices.

The reward has attracted almost 100 calls about the crime gang over the past two weeks.