A MAN sent to prison for allegedly cheating two merchants at gambling had his conviction quashed yesterday by the Court of Appeal. Allowing the appeal of Kwan Yam-tong, the court was of the view that the whole issue of the case was on the witnesses' credibility, and the trial judge erred to convict on the basis it was impossible for alleged victims to lie because they had no motive. However, the Appeal Court, while setting aside the 21/2-year jail term imposed on Kwan, held it was a proper case for a retrial. Kwan, 46, had denied two counts of cheating in gambling and obtaining property by deception but was found guilty at the District Court. It was the Crown's case that merchant Li Tung-sung was drawn into a game of fan tan by Kwan, who demonstrated a way of cheating that would guarantee he won. He later invited Mr Li to join him and his friends for a game the next day, saying he wanted to teach his nephew, Peter, a lesson. Mr Li was asked to put up $80,000 first and on November 9, 1990, the three and two other men had a game during which Mr Li lost his entire stake to Peter, the Crown said. Kwan then allegedly told Mr Li to put in more cash for a second game to win back the loss but after Mr Li handed over $40,000 and a piece of jade worth $300,000, the four men disappeared. It was also the Crown's case that another man, Hui King-pui, lost $330,000 in July 1990 in the same way.