GPS in luggage containing HK$2.8 million helps Hong Kong police in robbery arrest

Victim had packed a mobile phone in each of two stolen suitcases before he was ambushed

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 March, 2017, 1:30pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 March, 2017, 12:18am

GPS in two mobile phones led Hong Kong police to the arrest of an asylum seeker from India and the recovery of more than HK$3.2 million in foreign currency after a robbery in broad daylight on Monday.

Officers were still searching for at least three men of non-Chinese descent on Monday night in connection with a hold-up that took place outside Loong King Mansion on Man Yue Street in Hung Hom shortly before 8am, according to police.

The victim – an ethnic Indian and Hong Kong identity card holder –-is a businessman, 34, who was returning to his office in Hung Hom at the time of the incident after collecting from the airport two pieces of luggage, a police source said.

He said initial information showed the two luggage pieces contained US$320,000 (HK$2.48 million) and 50,000 euros (HK$414,000).

“Initial investigation showed the victim was beaten with wooden rods in an attack by four men who grabbed the two luggage pieces, jumped in a seven-seater car driven by a fifth suspect and sped off,” the source said.

Police said the robbers were non-Chinese men who wore face masks at the time of the attack.

“The victim had placed a mobile phone in each luggage pieces, and he used the tracking software to help officers track down the phones’ whereabouts by GPS,” the source said.

Within half an hour, police tracked down the two suitcases in Larch Street, Mong Kok. he said. The location is about four kilometres away from the site of the robbery.

When officers arrived, several suspects carrying the two luggage pieces fled in different directions. Police gave chase. After a brief chase, officers intercepted one of the men – an Indian asylum seeker aged 24 – at the junction of Canton Road and Bute Street.

In a Larch Street building, officers recovered the two stolen luggage pieces with the cash. Police said one piece was found abandoned by a building staircase.

The building exits were sealed as officers including members of the Police Tactical Unit searched the premises.

Shortly before 12.30pm, a seven-seater car believed to have been used as a getaway vehicle in the robbery was found abandoned in Shan Tong Road, Tai Po and set alight. Firemen doused the flames.

Saying it was an organised attack, another police source said it appeared the robbers knew when and where the victim would appear with the large amount of cash before ambushing him in Hung Hom.

At about midnight on Monday night, police arrested another suspect in To Kwa Wan.