The financial manager of the New World group siphoned $30 million from the companies' accounts after he incurred substantial losses playing the stock market and gambling in Macau, a court heard yesterday. Between October 5, 2000, and February 27 last year, Victor Ng Wai-tat used a series of blank cheques issued by the company to deposit funds in his personal bank account and in the account of his own company, Aldovin Ltd, and at a Macau casino, prosecutor Kelvin Lee Ka-yun told the Court of First Instance. Ng, 38, who pleaded guilty to 25 charges of theft from the Hong Kong-listed New World China Lands Ltd, will be sentenced today. Six smaller companies in the group were also targets of Ng's embezzlement spree, the court heard. Ng managed to pay back some of the cash, making the net loss suffered by the company $20.5 million. Gary Plowman, SC, for Ng, told Mr Justice Colin Jackson his client turned to gambling in 1999 in a bid to recoup a series of stock investment losses in the fallout from the Asian financial crisis. He said that as the debts mounted, Ng was 'caught in a spiral of dishonesty' from which he could not escape. The situation worsened when he turned to a loanshark who loaned him money at an exorbitant rate. Ng was threatened when he could not pay back the money and was again forced to embezzle from New World, Mr Plowman said. Mr Lee told the court Ng's pilfering was discovered on March 6 last year by Cheng Chi-man, New World China Lands Ltd's project manager. When confronted, Ng confessed and surrendered to police. The largest single sum Ng embezzled was $3,206,400 from Sun City Holdings on November 24, 2000. He stole the exact same sum from another New World companyon January 22 last year.