Burglars escaped with a Chinese landscape painting and other valuables when they raided a prominent businessman's luxury home on The Peak yesterday.
Neither Kwek Leng-hai, president and chief executive of the listed Guoco Group, an investment holding company, nor his family, were in the two-storey house in Middle Gap Road and police said the alarm system had not been turned on.
Police said the burglars climbed over a wall into the backyard and then prised open a glass sliding door to get into the house.
'Signs of ransacking were detected in the living room and bedrooms,' an officer said.
Kwek is in Singapore and will return to Hong Kong at the weekend.
'An initial investigation shows that a Chinese landscape painting and some jewellery and luxury watches were stolen,' an investigator said. 'There are a lot of paintings in the house. It is not known whether the one stolen is the most expensive.'
The artwork measures one metre by 1.37 metres and was in the living room. Police said they would check with Kwek on its price when he returns and investigate whether any other paintings have been stolen.
The break-in was discovered when a domestic helper woke up and found the premises had been ransacked. Police were called at about 10.15am.
The officer said police were investigating why the alarm system was not switched on. Crime-squad officers from Central police are investigating.
Kwek, 59, has been an executive director of Guoco since 1990. He is also chairman of the Lam Soon Hong Kong Group, which has businesses in oil, flour, detergent and distribution.
Police figures show that reports of burglaries dropped by 10 per cent, to 1,379, in the first four months of the year, from 1,537 in the same period of last year. But the amount of cash and property stolen rose to nearly HK$83.1 million from HK$67.6 million.
The value, in Hong Kong dollars, of cash and property stolen in burglaries in Hong Kong in the first four months of this year