Man arrested after HK$1.1 million daylight robbery outside Hong Kong mall

Officers also investigating if victim was lured to location in an earlier appointment to buy mooncake coupons

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 August, 2017, 3:30pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 August, 2017, 10:17am

A man was arrested in Sheung Shui on Wednesday for his suspected connection to a HK$1.1 million robbery in broad daylight outside a Hong Kong mall, where a businessman was bludgeoned with iron rods by two masked robbers who made off with his bag containing the cash.

The 26-year-old Hongkonger, who was detained at 7.30pm, is being held by police.

Initial investigations showed the 34-year-old victim was among four people who were believed to have been lured to the Metropolis Plaza shopping arcade near Sheung Shui MTR station to buy discounted mooncake coupons, according to a police source.

“The robbers tried to snatch the victim’s bag but he put up a struggle. They struck him with iron rods wrapped in newspaper three or four times, and then grabbed the bag before running into the mall,” the source said.

The businessman came with three friends, who were having breakfast inside a restaurant on the ground floor of the mall off Lung Wan Street when the incident occurred. It is understood each of the other three men also carried hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The victim had gone outside alone for a smoke at 9am when he was approached by the two masked men. The attack lasted for less than a minute.

According to authorities, the stolen bag contained about HK$1.1 million.

Officers were called in after receiving a report made by the victim. Police combed the area but no arrests were made.

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The businessman, who was bleeding from his head, was taken to North District Hospital for treatment.

Officers were also searching for a man who had offered discounted mooncake coupons to the victim at an earlier car show. The source said they were expected to meet at a cha chaan teng in the mall for the transaction before the robbery.

“Before the victim went out to smoke, he was told over the phone that the seller was on the way,” he said. But the vendor did not show up.

Police believed the arrested man was the person who had contacted the victim about the trade.

It is understood the businessman and his friends are parallel traders.

Detectives from the Tai Po district crime squad are handling the case.

Last December, a mainland visitor was slashed and robbed of about HK$4 million in an attack by four men on a nearby footbridge in Chi Cheong Road.

According to official statistics, reports of robbery dropped by 35.7 per cent to 90 cases in the first half of this year from 140 in the same period last year.