Charge dropped against man accused of disposing of stolen HK$900,000 crocodile skin coat

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 May, 2014, 4:47pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 May, 2014, 3:45am

A man suspected of unloading a HK$900,000 Burberry alligator-skin coat taken from a Tsim Sha Tsui store walked free yesterday after prosecutors withdrew the charge.

Bashir Osman, 31, was charged in February with handling stolen goods, for allegedly disposing of the coat at Chungking Mansions.

The shoplifting suspect, 37-year-old Kamal Rai, from Nepal, is due to enter a plea at the District Court on May 23, Kowloon City Court heard.

Rai is charged with stealing the garment from the Burberry outlet in Silvercord shopping centre on Canton Road on February 19.

He is said to have removed the coat from a mannequin before slipping out of the store at 7.45pm. Staff realised the garment was missing only when they closed for the night.

Surveillance footage showed a man taking the coat and walking out unchallenged while salespeople were occupied with customers. The thief was in the shop for less than one minute, according to police. The coat had just arrived in the shop and did not bear a security tag.

Investigators also alleged that Rai snatched five pairs of shorts worth HK$5,450 from a Tommy Hilfiger outlet three days before the Burberry theft, forming another charge against him.

Principal Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen said Rai would be remanded in custody.