Gunman's '$170,000 missing'

THE mother of a dead gunman yesterday demanded to know the whereabouts of $170,000 she claimed was in her son's possession when he was shot by police.

Ng Sai-wah told an inquest her son, Cheung Cho-yau, had the cash on him when he was killed in an Aberdeen gun battle.

'My daughter told me that, since he did business in China, he had this in his possession,' she said. 'The police who searched his person should know.' Coroner Warner Banks said inquiries would be made, but added that coroner's officer Dee Crebbin had assured him there was 'nothing like $170,000 on his body'.

Cheung, 23, and his handicapped Korean hostage, Kang Sang-bo, 31, were killed in the shootout last October.

Yesterday, the inquest learned of Cheung's long history of trouble with the law.

His mother left China for Hong Kong with her daughter in 1975, leaving her four-year-old son behind.


Five years later, Cheung was given permission to join them.

Ms Ng said that in 1984, the 13-year-old Cheung went to live 'somewhere else' and worked as a hardware apprentice. But he lost the job after he got into a fight, and decided to return to the mainland.

Cheung soon got into more trouble, spending time in a mainland jail for stealing and fighting.

Ms Ng said she did not see him again until 1989, when he came back to Hong Kong for a visit.


Cheung had been staying with his mother for about a month when Ms Ng came home one day to discover her flat had been ransacked and burgled.

Ms Ng told Ms Crebbin she had been robbed by her own son.


Cheung went to jail and returned to China after his release.

'I learned from my daughter he was living in Shenzhen,' Ms Ng told the inquest. 'I heard he had a girlfriend who was involved in business.' The Aberdeen shootout marked the climax of a hostage drama that began in Central.

At about 11.30 pm on October 13, Cheung put a gun to a patrolling officer's head and stole his revolver.


Minutes later he grabbed a young woman and pushed her into a nearby taxi. At that moment, Kang was boarding the vehicle from the opposite door.

Cheung ordered the driver to take them to Aberdeen, but the vehicle hit a roadblock near the Aberdeen waterfront.

The gunman fired out of the window, the inquest heard earlier. As Cheung prepared to fire again, Kang grabbed his wrist and began struggling for control of the gun.


When taxi driver Ho Chun-ming, 40, turned around to help, female hostage Ku E-suen, 18, escaped, leaving the door open.

Mr Ho said earlier a policeman then appeared in the doorway and opened fire into the back seat.

The inquest continues.