Cadres' son jailed for theft bid
THE son of two retired leading cadres in the Chinese Government was jailed for 16 months by the District Court yesterday for attempted theft and attempting to obtain property by deception.
Pak Sek-kin, 47, general manager of a mainland Chinese company in Macau, was found guilty of the two charges.
He denied having attempted to steal a document which purported to be a promissory note in the sum of US$25 million (about HK$193.8 million) between September 28 and October 4 last year.
He also denied having sought to discount the promissory note, which belonged to Ho Vai-yee, despite an agreement that the note would be returned on maturity to Ms Ho. It was later discovered the promissory note was a forgery.
Judge Chua described Ms Ho as an ''incredibly naive woman'' who was vulnerable to the arch villain in this case.
The Crown said that in 1992, Ms Ho met people who had a scheme for making money which involved the investment of large sums of money in a programme run by Merrill Lynch in the United States.
Ms Ho and Pak signed a loan agreement by which she would borrow US$130 million from Pak with repayment in the sum of US$200 million after 10 years.
She was later introduced to Hsu Wen-lung who offered to provide promissory notes from the Thai Farmers Bank to her as guarantee for loan repayment, the court heard. The cost of these promissory notes was an ''issuing fee'' of US$400,000.
It was the Crown's case that Pak agreed to accept the notes on the basis they would not be negotiated nor pledged in any way.
On September 16, 1992, Ms Ho gave $387,000 to Hsu as part payment of the issuing fee and in return Hsu gave her eight promissory notes, which were then handed to Pak.
Twelve days later, Pak showed an assistant director of the Standard Chartered Bank a promissory note and stated that it had been issued to him by the Thai authorities in payment for projects completed by his company in Thailand.
Pak offered the notes to the Standard Chartered Bank at a discount of 15 per cent.
Pak, who was scheduled for admission to hospital yesterday for a heart problem, was assured medical care while in custody.
Earlier, his counsel Peter Nguyen said Pak had an unblemished record, adding that all his family members were central Government cadres. Pak had a 13-year-old son studying in Beijing.
He said Pak was educated in China and was in the People's Liberation Army from 1968 to 1978. From 1978 to 1984 he worked as a commissioner in the Central Legal Committee. He had been a businessman in Macau since 1985.
Pak's elder sister is a Public Security Department cadre while one of his elder brothers is Minister of the Central Propaganda Department.
His brother-in-law is the department head of the Correctional Services Department of the Central Legal Ministry.
Pak's co-accused, Hsu Wen-lung, 29, who faces a count of using a false instrument, absconded before the trial.