A 35-year-old woman and a 48-year-old man have been arrested in connection with the murder of a mainland prostitute whose naked body was found in a subdivided flat in Yau Ma Tei last week.
The woman was intercepted at the Lok Ma Chau border checkpoint before dawn yesterday when she tried to leave for Shenzhen. The man was picked up by police in Wong Tai Sin on Monday afternoon.
Last night, police were still hunting for another Hong Kong man in connection with the killing of Lau Suk-king, 49.
"Our initial investigation shows that the three were friends of the victim. They learned that the victim had won money at a floating casino and conspired to steal it," a police source said. "But we are still investigating why the victim was murdered."
The source said it was possible the mainland woman was killed while trying to stop her money from being stolen. Her clothes might have been removed in a bid to mislead police into believing she was killed in a sex attack, he added.
Last night, the woman and the man, both Hongkongers, were being held at Kowloon West regional crime unit headquarters for questioning. No one has been charged yet.
The latest arrests came after police detained the victim's Hong Kong husband, 45, last Thursday. He was released on bail after initial investigations indicated he was not linked to the killing.
Investigators believe that Lau was killed by someone she knew, because there was no sign she put up a struggle before she died.
A neighbour discovered her naked body on a blood-soaked mattress in her second-floor flat in Shanghai Street last Wednesday morning.
Police found multiple chop wounds, including one 13cm long, on Lau's neck. Initial investigations showed she had been dead for less than a day when she was found. In her flat, police found only a few hundred dollars, her marriage certificate, identity cards and a mobile phone.
Lau, a two-way permit holder, arrived in Hong Kong from Zhuhai on August 21 and in mid-October moved into the subdivided flat, where she lived alone. It is understood that she usually took her clients to a nearby love hotel, but she also sometimes brought men home.