Three men were each jailed for 40 months yesterday for trying to blackmail property tycoon Walter Kwok Ping-sheung out of $15 million. District Court judge Esther Toh Lye-ping praised police for 'a job well done' and urged crime victims to trust in 'Asia's finest'. The extortionists, led by a psychiatric patient, had threatened to fire a gun near the head office of the Sun Hung Kai Properties chairman unless the money was paid. But the threat was made to an undercover policewoman posing as Mr Kwok's personal assistant. 'The victim acted properly by reporting to the police early and co-operated fully with the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau,' said Judge Toh. Police immediately started surveillance and the three were arrested two days later on August 14. 'It is one of the examples why our police force is considered one of the finest in Asia, if not the world,' she said. 'There should not be any doubt in the mind of any victim that an early report to police not only benefits themselves but society.' Mental patient Yip Chi-wai and Yau Ming-fong, both 36, pleaded guilty to a joint charge of blackmail. Wong Keung-yiu, 32, did not enter a plea. Barrister Philip Wong, pleading in mitigation for Yip, said the former civil servant was not in the scheme for money. 'His motive is quite childish, if we believe what he says, which is to boost his self-esteem,' Mr Wong said. Yip, a sufferer of 'bipolar mood disorder', was in an 'expansive' mood at the time of the offence. He had made the gunshot warning and Judge Toh ruled that he was, if not the mastermind, in a managerial position to the others. Wong and Yan simply went along out of greed, she said. But Wong's lawyer, Bernard Chung Wai-keung, said his client, an heir to a furniture business, did not need money. Wong, who made the initial extortion call by posing as a Xinhua staff member, withdrew from the enterprise 'albeit a little bit too late', Mr Chung said. Barrister Kenneth Chan, for Yan, said his client was 'a simple man only educated to Form One, making him prone to be used and exploited by others'.