Visitor has HK$250,000 stolen from boot of taxi

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 October, 2012, 3:41am

A foreigner had the cash equivalent of about HK$250,000 stolen from the boot of a taxi yesterday after three men offered to help him load his luggage.

He was alerted to the theft seconds after getting into the back seat amid the hustle and bustle of Queen's Road Central when a passer-by warned the driver that his boot was open.

The theft happened at 2.30pm outside the Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Police are looking at the hotel's CCTV footage after three men were seen behaving suspiciously.

A police spokeswoman said the 46-year-old had joined the queue for taxis after withdrawing about €20,000 and A$7,000 - about HK$256,000.

The victim - reportedly an Australian - put the money in a large envelope that he then put into an item of his luggage.

The spokeswoman said that after the pedestrian pointed out that the boot was still open, the man found his luggage had been tampered with and realised the envelope was missing.

The theft suggests the man may have been followed.

A security guard at the Mandarin alerted police.

Officers said three men - two with backpacks - were wanted after reviewing CCTV footage recorded by the hotel.

Queen's Road Central is always choked with traffic as it is only one of two roads directly linking Admiralty and Central without restrictions.

No spokesman from the hotel could be immediately reached for a comment.

Last month police warned of a new scam in which taxi drivers were driving away with tourists' luggage after overcharging them.