Special police team probes bomb threat

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 August, 2005, 12:00am

A special police team will investigate an extortion case in which at least one property company was threatened with a bomb attack.

The Organised Crime and Triad Bureau will head the team, formed after the threat last month, with officers from the Criminal Intelligence Bureau assisting.

Police yesterday said detectives were investigating the matter after 'at least one' property company received an extortion letter.

'The writer threatened to launch a bomb attack if money was not paid,' a police source said, without revealing the names or number of companies threatened, or the amount demanded.

A separate source said the criminals had done nothing after sending the letter.

No traces of explosive or dangerous chemicals were found on the letter, which is being tested for fingerprints.

Investigators are refusing to comment on the case.

Yesterday the Chinese-language Oriental Daily News - and its sister newspaper The Sun - reported that an extortion letter and two e-mails had been sent to three prominent property firms.

They reported that traces of explosive powder were found on the letter.

The extortionists were reported to have threatened to blow up property developments if the companies failed to pay up.

Attacks using bombs are rare in Hong Kong.

The most recent case was in September, when a public toilet at the Lion Rock Country Park near Tai Po Road, Cheung Sha Wan, was blown up.

Police suspect the criminals employed the same type of explosive device that is occasionally used for a type of illegal fishing.

On August 4 last year, 47-year-old businessman Liu Kwok-shun was driving towards a traffic light at 8.30am on Long Tin Road in Tin Shui Wai when a bomb hidden under his seat exploded.

Liu, who headed an engineering firm and had narrowly escaped a similar attack at Yuen Long in 2000, was killed.

His wife, Wong Lai-kiu, was severely injured.