Tony Ng, jailed over 1985 Seattle Chinatown massacre, back in Hong Kong

Paroled after 28 years in US jail for robbery that left 13 dead, Tony Ng home to care for sick father

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 May, 2014, 4:55am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 May, 2014, 4:55am

A Hongkonger who spent nearly 30 years incarcerated in an American prison for his involvement in one of Seattle's deadliest robberies has been released and deported back to the city to care for his ailing father.

Tony Ng Wai-chiu, now 57, arrived in Hong Kong on Wednesday night. Ng, who moved to America in 1970, was jailed in with two others in 1985 for his role in a Chinatown massacre that left 12 men and a woman dead in the city in the US northwest.

Ng served 28 years of a 30-year-to-life sentence before he was granted parole on grounds of good behaviour.

A condition of his release was that he would be deported. He told the prison panel in a closed-door parole hearing in August that he would not fight deportation because his father was sick.

The massacre took place at midnight on February 18, 1983, in the basement of the Wah Mee social club, an illegal gambling den in the heart of Seattle's Chinatown. The plan was to leave no clues or witnesses.

Fourteen people, all well-known faces in Chinatown, were tied up, robbed of US$15,000 (HK$117,000 in 1983 or HK$273,000 at current prices) and shot in the head.

Police arrived to find themselves ankle-deep in blood. All of those slain were found lying face down on the floor.

One man, Wai Chin, survived, despite being shot in the neck, and managed to untie himself, crawl out of the club and call for help. He lived to implicate the three - whom he had been on good terms with - in a calculated crime in a battle for Seattle's Chinatown.

Chin's survival was crucial in identifying the three assailants, including killers Willie Mak Kwan-fai and Benjamin Ng Kin, who brutally murdered 13 of his friends. Tony Ng is no relation to Benjamin Ng.

After spending 18 months on the run in Canada Tony Ng was charged with murder. He was convicted on 13 counts of first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree assault. Tony, then 28, was acquitted of murder.

In one snapshot in 1985, he looked tired and emotionally drained, dressed in a three-piece grey suit, white shirt and burgundy red tie, and sporting a flat, black hairstyle. In a recent picture, he appeared slim, bald and with grey stubble on his face.