Witness in triad loan-shark case slashed repeatedly outside flat

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 September, 2009, 12:00am

A clerical worker who appeared in court as a witness in connection with a loan-shark case last week was slashed in the mouth, lower jaw, neck and right arm in an ambush by a well-dressed man outside the victim's Chai Wan flat yesterday.

Last night, the man, 30, surnamed Poon, was in serious condition in Eastern Hospital after receiving surgery. A manhunt for the assailant, co-ordinated by anti-triad officers from Hong Kong regional crime unit, was under way. No one had been arrested last night.

The attack happened at about 8.30am when the victim was leaving his flat on the 17th floor of Cheerful Garden in Siu Sai Wan Road for his office in Central.

The attacker, who was wearing a black suit and carrying a briefcase, then took a lift downstairs, walked out of the building and fled on foot, a police investigator said.

Poon's shouts alerted his 61-year-old mother, who called police.

He was treated by paramedics at the scene before being taken to Eastern Hospital.

Officers mounted a search in the area but found no trace of the attacker, who is thought to be aged about 30 with dyed-blond hair and wearing glasses. No weapon was found at the scene. Police said they believed he used the briefcase to carry the weapon.

Surveillance-camera footage showed that the attacker entered the building at about 8.15am.

'He appeared to be calm when he entered and left the building,' a police investigator said. 'It's a well-planned attack.

'We believe he visited the area before the attack. He also wore a face mask to stop himself from being identified on surveillance cameras.'

Another officer said Poon had appeared in court as a witness last week in connection with a loan-shark case brought by the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau.

The officer said police were investigating whether the attack was linked to the court case.

The officer refused to say whether police had offered protection to the victim.

Between January and June, there were 968 reports of wounding, compared with 891 cases in the same period last year.