Tsui's mother 'refused to discuss suspect cash'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 April, 2007, 12:00am

The mother of constable Tsui Po-ko refused to provide details to investigators about a suspicious sum of HK$350,000 her son gave her in 2005, the Coroner's Court heard yesterday.

On the 29th day of the inquest into the deaths of Tsui and three others, police superintendent Betty Pang Mo-yin revealed more on the financial circumstances of Tsui - who was found to have put HK$557,718 in 12 secret investment accounts after a bank was robbed of more than HK$500,000 in December 2001.

Ms Pang said the source of the money was suspicious.

Responding to barrister Peter Ip Tak-keung, for the police commissioner, Ms Pang confirmed that Tsui's mother Cheung Wai-mei had refused to answer investigators' questions about the HK$350,000 her son deposited into her securities account in February 2005.

But she also said there was no evidence to suggest anyone had knowledge of Tsui's suspicious wealth.

Ms Pang said records showed Ms Cheung had used the money to trade in shares of HSBC and I.T between February and August 2005 and had lost about HK$6,000. Bank records also showed Ms Cheung took out a total of HK$98,000 on four occasions in 2005. The account ceased operation in December 2005. The superintendent also noted Tsui had travelled more frequently after 2001. From 2002 to 2005, he visited places including the mainland, Macau, Malaysia, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Ms Pang found suspicious a trip to Australia by Tsui, his wife, daughter and mother in March 2005. 'I didn't see money withdrawn from any of the family members' accounts to fund the trip, which cost about HK$40,000,' she said. But she noted some money had been taken out of Tsui's investment accounts during that time.

Police gambling expert Wan Man-chung said no connection had been found between Tsui and illegal gambling activities, even though former policeman Li Ngai testified earlier that Tsui had asked a bookmaker to take a HK$50,000 bet on a World Cup final match in 2002.

He also said no such connection could be established with constable Tsang Kwok-hang, who died in last year's Tsim Sha Tsui shootout along with Tsui, or the shootout survivor, Wilson Sin Ka-keung.

Handwriting expert Poon Nai-leung told the court that a comparison of the writing on Tsui's work notes and a car park application indicated they were by the same hand.

The court has heard Tsui could have driven a stolen van from Tung Chung to Tsim Sha Tsui on the night of the shootout. The van was recovered in Kwun Chung Street.

A receipt found in Tsui's Tung Chung police locker indicated Tsui used a false name and address to rent a parking space for the van from October 5, 2005.

The inquest into the deaths of Tsui, Tsang, bank guard Zafar Iqbal Khan and constable Leung Shing-yan - both shot dead in 2001 - continues today.