Couple charged with theft of jewellery and cash worth HK$3m

Man and girlfriend accused of living in luxury but paying no taxes for 7 years

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2012, 3:14am

A man standing trial for the theft of HK$3 million worth of jewellery and cash from offices in industrial buildings lived in luxury in the Mid-Levels, yet he and his girlfriend had not filed tax returns in the past seven years, a court heard yesterday.

Chu Shue-lung, 55, faces two charges of burglary relating to 101 pieces of jewellery and cash stolen from a canned food trading firm's office in Tsuen Wan last September and a handbag products firm's office in Kwun Tong in October.

He is also charged with going equipped for burglary and resisting arrest.

Chu and his girlfriend, Li Shuk-woon, 41, are both accused of handling stolen goods in connection with the burglaries, and money laundering.

The District Court heard that some of the stolen items (including gold bracelets, necklaces and earrings) were found at the couple's home and in a bank safe deposit box belonging to Li.

In January last year, police found Chu leaving an industrial building in Yuen Long while carrying a paper box containing tools including an iron saw, a pair of pliers, two screwdrivers and a hammer, the prosecution said. Chu later told police during their investigation that he had found the box in the streets and was planning to dump it.

Chu was arrested again in October in Sai Ying Pun when he put up a struggle and refused to co-operate with police officers, leading to the charge of resisting arrest.

The jewellery was subsequently found at the couple's flat and in the deposit box, prosecutor Henry Ma Ka-fan informed the court in a written submission.

Chu told police he had bought the jewellery found in his home, but he was unable to provide the receipts.

He said he was unemployed, although Li said he was working in a casino in Macau.

Li taught Putonghua at an education centre and earned around HK$20,000 a month.

She said her former father-in-law had given her HK$1 million, although her ex-husband later told police that his father had not given her the cash, the prosecution told the court.

The hearing continues today before Judge Eddie Yip Chor-man.