Jailed gangster sued over shoot-out

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 May, 2007, 12:00am

Notorious gangster Kwai Ping-hung is being sued by the government to recover compensation it paid a police officer he wounded in a shoot-out in 2001.

The secretary for justice yesterday filed a writ in the District Court against Kwai, 47, who is serving a 24-year sentence handed down in May 2005.

The writ seeks HK$124,603 from Kwai - the compensation plus interest the government had paid to police Constable Sze Kwan-ming, one of two officers shot by Kwai in Mong Kok on May 22, 2001.

The plainclothes officers had been trying to arrest him for armed robbery.

Kwai, also known as Guan Derong, was convicted in May 2005 on a charge of using a firearm to resist arrest. In February the same year he was convicted of three weapons charges - possession of firearms, ammunitions and explosives without licences.

He had pleaded not guilty to all four charges.

Constable Sze was shot and admitted to hospital in critical condition with severe facial injuries. He required 91 days of sick leave and suffered a permanent, 3 per cent loss in earning capacity due to his injuries.

Under the Employee's Compensation Ordinance, the government later paid Constable Sze a total of HK$124,603 in compensation for injuries in the course of his employment.

After the 2001 Mong Kok shoot-out, Kwai went on the run for more than 2? years. He was arrested in a predawn raid by the special duties squad in an apartment in Yau Ma Tei on Christmas Eve, 2003. Police found a cache of pistols and grenades, an assault rifle and ammunition.

Ronny Tong Ka-wah SC, who is not involved in the lawsuit, said the civil action launched by the government was extremely rare in Hong Kong but common in western jurisdictions.