Brothers accused of extortion attempt on Transformers film crew released on bail

Mak Chi-shing, 27, and Mak Chi-hang, 28, have each been released on HK$40,000 bail

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 October, 2013, 3:19pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 October, 2013, 3:30pm

The two brothers charged with trying to extort HK$100,000 from the crew of the film Transformers: Age of Extinction were on Thursday released on bail after spending almost a week in custody.

Court of First Instance judge Peter Line released Mak Chi-shing, 27, and Mak Chi-hang, 28, each on HK$40,000 bail which was not opposed by the prosecution.

Granting bail to the two men, the judge said it was a “rather sensitive case”.

The two had been remanded in custody since Friday, each charged with one count of blackmail and one count of assaulting a police officer. They allegedly tried to extort HK$100,000 from the Paramount Pictures crew, led by director Michael Bay, during filming in Hong Kong last Thursday, near Fook Cheong Building in King’s Road, Quarry Bay.

The pair, who operate Hang Fat Air Conditioner and Water Electrical Company, allegedly demanded money from stage manager Cheung Ngo-yeung after they failed to negotiate satisfactory compensation for disruption to their businesses, the court heard.

A prosecutor said they caused “harassment” to the crew but did not claim to be members of a triad society. The brothers were also accused of attacking two police officers.

Line ordered that the two men must not approach any film crew. He also ordered them to surrender their travel documents, including the home re-entry permit. They must not leave Hong Kong, which includes going to Macau.

They must report to North Point police station every Wednesday.

Yesterday the crew was allegedly disturbed by another attempt of extortion when filming in To Kwan Wan. A man, suspected to be a triad member, was in police custody last night after being arrested for suspected blackmail.