Village boss 'bragged about piles of cash'
A former village head jailed after one of the city's largest cocaine busts showed neighbours piles of cash he claimed to have won on horse races, his wife's trial on money-laundering charges heard yesterday,
Pang Yuet-wan, sentenced in March to 22 years in prison after 232kg of cocaine was found at his home, would also run to his brother's house to show him the winning tickets, the District Court was told.
Ling Yuen-sheung, who faces three counts of money laundering, told the court on Wednesday she believed money her husband gave her was mainly from his gambling and that HK$8.2 million in her bank accounts was from legal activities.
Yesterday, villager Lai Hoi-shan said he had seen Pang show off piles of cash at a Tai Po Tin store twice in 2008. Pang said he had won bets on horse racing and bought villagers cups of tea, Lai said.
Lai said the villagers frequently talked of Pang's winnings, which were usually about HK$100,000.
Pang Hok-lun said his younger brother had shown him winning tickets about a dozen times. 'He would come to my house very enthusiastic,' the older Pang said.
Ling's barrister, Simon Yip Shui-man, said in his closing arguments that Pang Yuet-wan had an image in the village as a keen gambler and it was reasonable for his wife to believe the money was from successful bets. Ling, 37, had been married to Pang for more than a decade, had only a primary education and came from a traditional farming family, so it was understandable that she trusted her husband whole-heartedly, Yip said.
Prosecutor Andrew Cheng Chi-hang said Ling should have doubted the source of the money. 'Is it possible that she had some suspicions but had turned a blind eye?' Cheng asked, noting that Pang had told her not to 'ask too much'. Ling, who worked in a factory in Shenzhen when she was 17 and had been a waitress in Hong Kong, should have enough life experience to judge for herself, Cheng said.
Judge Douglas Yau Tak-hong will give his verdict later this month.
The total balance, in Hong Kong dollars, of three bank accounts held by Ling Yuen-sheung, who says she believed it came from legal sources