Japanese businessman loses 210,000 yuan to thieves in TST

Businessman loses 210,000 yuan in bag after changing the money at Chungking

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 June, 2013, 5:05am

A Japanese businessman lost 210,000 yuan (HK$264,100) in a Tsim Sha Tsui restaurant after his suitcase containing the cash was swapped for a similar bag.

Five suspects were thought to have followed the man from Chungking Mansions after watching him change the money there on Tuesday.

The victim, 36, called police at about 7pm, saying that he suspected the bag had been switched by four "non-Chinese" men and a "non-Chinese" woman, officers said.

Police did not name the restaurant, saying only that it was located in the Energy Plaza shopping arcade on Granville Road.

Kitty Wong, manager of Japanese restaurant Noodle House Ippei-An, confirmed that the incident happened at her place.

"The man came here alone and ordered dinner for himself. After a while, several people who appeared to be South Asians came," Wong said.

"It was quite strange. Some of them said they needed a table for four, but then they changed their minds and said they needed a table for only one. After a while, they said they didn't need a table any more."

She said the Japanese man put his suitcase behind him where he could not see it. He was having dinner and reading a comic book when he suddenly shouted that the luggage had been swapped.

He immediately ran out of the restaurant in pursuit of the culprits, but to no avail.

Wong said the two bags, both grey, were similar in appearance.

She said one of her colleagues, who was also Japanese, talked to the victim and learned that he did business on the mainland.

"He said he exchanged his money for yuan at Chungking Mansions before he came," she said. "That means [those people] probably followed him all the way from there after seeing he had a lot of money."

On the same evening, a 54-year-old man was robbed of 96,000 yuan on Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok, at about 8pm.

Police said two "non-Chinese" men sprayed the victim with an unknown liquid and snatched a plastic bag containing the money.

The victim was sent to Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for treatment.