'Murder' off US coast: Hong Kong police investigate

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 August, 2014, 4:22am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 August, 2014, 5:14am

Hong Kong detectives are investigating a killing on board a Hong Kong-registered cargo vessel off the coast of the United States two weeks ago.

According to police, the cargo ship was in international waters about 44km off the state of Delaware on America's Atlantic coast when the incident happened on August 14.

"An initial investigation showed that the 45-year-old ship's captain was stabbed by a 47-year-old cook in a dispute over his work," a police officer said.

"A chief cook, aged 40, was also stabbed while trying to stop the attacker."

After the incident, the alleged attacker ran to the back of the vessel and jumped overboard. The United States coastguard found his body floating in the sea on the following day.

Police said all three men involved were mainlanders.

The two stabbing victims were transferred to a hospital in Atlantic City, where the captain was declared dead.

An autopsy is understood to have been carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to Hong Kong laws, any crime that takes place on board a Hong Kong-registered vessel on the high seas constitutes an offence within the jurisdiction of Hong Kong.

A team of officers from the marine police unit have already flown to the United States to investigate. They returned to Hong Kong last week.

The officer said the marine police would compile a report to be submitted to the Coroner's Court, which will then rule on whether an inquest would be held.