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Crime

Hongkonger, 19, killed girlfriend then stuffed her body in a suitcase, Taiwan police allege

Suspect detained by Hong Kong authorities after returning home from trip alone and using victim’s ATM card to withdraw HK$13,000

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 March, 2018, 12:51am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 March, 2018, 11:58pm

A 19-year-old man suspected of killing his girlfriend during a Taiwan trip and dumping her body near a Taipei subway station was arrested by Hong Kong police on Tuesday.

The badly decomposed body of Poon Hiu-wing, 20, a former student at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, was discovered in some bushes near the station by Taipei police.

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Authorities on the self-ruled island had received details from Hong Kong police before the find, Taiwanese media reported. 

The couple arrived in Taipei on February 8 and checked in five days later at the Purple Garden Hotel near Zhongshan MRT station, a Hong Kong police source said. 

The suspect, surnamed Chan, a former associate degree student at Polytechnic University’s Hong Kong Community College, returned to Hong Kong alone on February 17. 

The victim’s family approached police for help on March 5 after losing contact with the woman, the source said.

On Tuesday, officers from the Kowloon East region missing persons unit approached the suspect in Tseung Kwan O.

 

An ATM card belonging to the deceased was found on Chan, who told police he had used it to withdraw about HK$13,000 (US$1,660). Officers arrested him for theft.

At about 9pm on Tuesday, Taipei police located Poon’s body in a field near Zhuwei MRT station in Tamsui district, about 15km (9.3 miles) north of the hotel.

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In surveillance footage from the hotel released by Taiwanese media, Chan was seen leaving the building with what appeared to be a heavy suitcase on February 17. Local police suspect it was used to store Poon’s body.

In a Facebook post in November, Poon said that Chan had told her she was his first and last girlfriend, without elaborating.

The case was a complicated one for authorities on both sides, according to the source, because there had been no previous incident in which a Hongkonger had allegedly committed an offence in Taiwan and returned to the city. 

Taiwan police may request that the suspect be sent back to them to face charges, in which case the Hong Kong authorities would need to discuss procedures with the Department of Justice for a transfer of custody. No extradition agreement currently exists between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

In April 2016, Taiwanese authorities expelled four Hongkongers – three men and a woman – after a badly decomposed body was found encased in cement in a flat in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong. The four were arrested by Hong Kong police upon their return to the city.