Suspected Hong Kong triad leader arrested for 2009 acid attack on lawyer

Chim, 37, was tracked down in Xinjiang and nabbed by mainland Chinese security officers, police sources say

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 3:03pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 10:19pm

A suspected triad faction leader believed to have been involved in a high-profile acid attack on a Hong Kong prosecutor has been arrested on the mainland after being at large for seven years, the Post has learned.

The 37-year-old Hong Kong man, surnamed Chim, was tracked down in Xinjiang before being nabbed by mainland security officers last month, according to police sources.

It is understood that the force’s Liaison Bureau was alerted about the arrest by their mainland counterparts early this month. Hong Kong police are awaiting further details from mainland police.

Acid attack plotters jailed for 12 years

“Investigations indicated the suspect allegedly recruited attackers in the incident seven years ago,” one police source said.

It is understood that Chim was placed on the list of persons wanted by Hong Kong police after the acid attack. The department later sought help from mainland authorities to track down him after he fled the city.

Another source said officers from the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau would fly to Xinjiang to confirm the identity of the suspect and discuss arrangements for his return to face trial in Hong Kong.

So far, eight men have been jailed in connection with the acid attack against barrister Neil Mitchell, which took place in 2009.

Mitchell, then 52, was the prosecutor in a money laundering and fraud case when he was attacked during his lunch break outside the District Court in Wan Chai on October 27, 2009.

A brownish-back liquid – later found to be diluted sulphuric acid – was thrown in his face. The attack continued as more acid was splashed on his shirt while Mitchell tried to wipe the liquid off.

A paper cup, believed to have contained the liquid, was later found in a nearby rubbish bin.

Mitchell, who has recovered, suffered damage to his left cornea, ear and cheek. He was placed under police protection during his three days in hospital.

The Bar Association said the attack struck at the core of the justice system.

At the time of the attack, Mitchell was prosecuting a case against solicitor Kevin Kong Hon-yui, who was jailed for six years in December 2009 for conspiracy to launder money and to defraud in a scam involving HK$10.9 million in mortgages in 2005 and 2006.

Six men, aged between 19 and 44, were jailed for 10 to 12 years in 2011. During sentencing, Madam Justice Clare-Marie Beeson called the attack on Mitchell “vicious, cold-blooded and calculated”.

The culprits initially considered attacking Mitchell with cleavers but later decided to use acid instead. Three of the men were paid HK$30,000 for the attack.

In 2012, two other two men aged 30 and 35 were jailed for 12 years for their part in the plot to throw acid on Mitchell.