THE crash which killed four smuggling suspects in Victoria Harbour was caused by their speedboat ramming a Marine Police vessel, an inquest heard yesterday. All four men aboard the speedboat died of multiple injuries or drowning after their chung fei collided with police vessel PV25 shortly after 3 am on August 9 last year. The dead men were Leung Chi-wah, 21, Tang Fuk-shing, 37, and brothers Pang Chi-wah, 30, and Pang Ping-kin, 25. On the morning in question, the chung fei was spotted next to a quay wall where a van was parked and people were seen moving things near Sheung Wan fire station. Suspecting the vessel to be involved in smuggling activities, PV25 approached the chung fei and there was a chase. The court was told that PV25 was carrying out an anti-smuggling operation with another police vessel, PV29. As PV25 chased the chung fei, PV29 followed and fired flares to illuminate the area. Senior Inspector Kong Yiu-man, the officer in charge of PV25, said that after following the speedboat for about 10 minutes, it suddenly swerved into their path and rammed into the bow of their vessel. Two of the police vessel crew were thrown into the water. They were rescued and sent to hospital. Asked by Senior Crown Counsel Ms Lynda Shine, representing the Marine Police, whether anything could have been done to avoid the collision, Inspector Kong said ''no''. Asked by coroner's officer Ms Patty Lee whether he reacted when he saw the chung fei changing its course, he said: ''It happened very quickly, less than a second, and I could not give any order.'' Earlier, the court heard that one man was rescued from the chung fei after the collision. The man lost consciousness soon after and died before arriving at hospital. One body was recovered from the water off Western district on August 11 and two more bodies were recovered the following day. All three were identified by relatives as having been on board the chung fei. The hearing before Coroner Mr Warner Banks and a jury continues.