A restaurant worker's trip to the toilet foiled police efforts to crack a $20 million blackmail scam on the Vitasoy company, the High Court heard yesterday. Investigators had hidden $10,000 in the rubbish bin of a restaurant toilet to catch a blackmailer, who had threatened to poison the company's drink product, the court heard. But the money was found by a restaurant worker who removed it. Prosecutor Bernard Ryan told the court that on July 29, Ng Hung-yam, a 21-year-old construction site worker, rang the soya milk company and threatened to poison its products unless he was paid $20 million. Yu Dau-ming, senior officer of Vitasoy, took Ng's call and told the alleged blackmailer that he had to consider the demand with his superior. But instead he contacted the police who set up a recording system at Mr Yu's office. Ng, who denies blackmail, rang back and told Mr Yu that Vitasoy drinks at the 7-Eleven store in Chai Wan's MTR station were poisoned, Mr Ryan told the jury. After rounds of bargaining over the phone, they finally settled on $800,000 and it was agreed the money would be left inside the restaurant toilet in Connaught Road, Wan Chai. On August 5, Ng went to the drop-off site and searched through the rubbish. When he found nothing he rang Mr Yu again and accused him of 'playing tricks', the court heard. But three police officers were creeping up behind Ng to arrest him as he talked on the public phone in Maxim Restaurant, Des Voeux Road West. Ng was said to have admitted to police that he had phoned Vitasoy from various pay phones. The trial before Deputy Judge Michael Hartmann continues.