Ex-cabbie who led high-speed police chase in Hong Kong 'had been living' in stolen taxi

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 December, 2013, 5:09am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 December, 2013, 9:16am

A banned driver who allegedly led police on a 50-minute high-speed chase in a stolen taxi was remanded in custody when he appeared in Kwun Tong Magistrates court yesterday.

Frank Soon Yuk-tak, 61, entered no plea to charges of dangerous driving, theft, driving while disqualified, using a vehicle without third party insurance, and using a false instrument.

The court was told that Soon, who is separated from his wife of 30 years and has no fixed abode, had stolen the taxi in August last year and, as well as using it to earn a living, had been living in it for the last few months.

The prosecution said Soon had ignored police instructions to stop at Kwun Tong early on Thursday. The officer discovered the taxi's number plate belonged to a private car and alerted other officers.

Police next spotted the taxi in Kowloon City, but the taxi sped off with the officers in hot pursuit. The chase took them from Cornwall Street into Kwai Chung and back to Kowloon, with the cab running red lights and smashing into three police cars on the way.

A police barricade in Tai Kok Tsui finally brought the taxi to a halt, the court heard. There were no injuries.

According to the charges, Soon was accused of stealing the taxi in Yuet Wah Street, Kwun Tong, on August 9 last year. The court heard Soon had been a taxi driver but he had been disqualified from driving for six months from July.

The prosecutor said the police found multiple number plates and vehicle licences inside the taxi.

Magistrate Symon Wong Yu-wing said: "I think this case is serious enough to charge as furious driving." He adjourned the case to January 10 pending further police investigation.