Police sergeant accused of fleeing with HK$1m in bail money arrested at Hong Kong border crossing

Officer, who was later found to be heavily in debt, was suspected to have fled first to Macau, then onto Zhuhai

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 August, 2016, 5:30pm
UPDATED : Monday, 01 August, 2016, 11:39pm

A police sergeant who allegedly fled to Macau with HK$1 million in bail money was arrested as he tried to return to Hong Kong on Monday.

The man, 43, who is known only by his surname Cheung, was intercepted at Shenzhen Bay border checkpoint shortly before noon by immigration officers, who tipped off police.

No money was recovered from him, according to a source who said he had probably “spent it all” before returning to the city.

On May 2, Cheung, who was in charge of the safe at Arsenal Street station’s report room, told colleagues he needed to leave at about 11am. He also told them where he had left the safe key, which was not standard procedure.

He then changed back into his own clothes and returned his gun before leaving the station.

A manhunt began when the safe, which had contained HK$1.07 million in bail money, was found empty hours after he left. An initial investigation showed Cheung was heavily in debt but that he had not declared it as unmanageable to the force as requested.

It was suspected Cheung immediately left the city for Macau before moving on to Zhuhai, in mainland China. It was later found that the sergeant, who lived with his wife and daughter, 21, at a police residence in Yau Mei Court, Yau Tong, had not been home for months before his disappearance.

After his arrest, the suspect was taken to the Hong Kong Island regional crime unit headquarters. He was charged with one count of theft on Monday night and will appear in Eastern Court on Tuesday.

Cheung joined the force in October 1992 and was promoted to a sergeant in June last year. He had been an acting station sergeant since April 17.

In 2006, an officer at Mong Kok Police Station stole more than HK$430,000 in bail money and was later jailed for 18 months.