The life sentence handed down yesterday on Cheng Wui-yiu for his involvement in the 1995 gangland murder of Tommy Chui To-yan draws to a close one of the most extraordinary sagas in Hong Kong's criminal history. Cheng, a Wo On Lok triad member from Lei Cheng Uk Estate, was given the heaviest sentence possible for plotting the killing of Chui, who had agreed to testify for the ICAC against his former business partner, Henfrey Tin Sau-kwong, in a multi-billion dollar, cigarette-smuggling and bribery case. The case involved the murder of a star witness, intricate triad symbolism and a direct challenge to the forces of law and order. It has been a difficult case for the Independent Commission Against Corruption since it began its investigation in 1993 into the criminal activities of Giant Island, in which Chui was a shareholder. The company was said to have involved Henfrey Trading, owned by Tin, in the smuggling of cigarettes and offering bribes to customs officials. Tin, a former customs and excise officer, was also an influential Wo On Lok triad member who grew up in Lei Cheng Uk Estate, Cheung Sha Wan. In December 1994, Tin, former customs officer Yeung Kam-fai and Giant Island shareholder Chong Tsoi-jun were charged with various offences including offering bribes to customs officers, plotting to smuggle cigarettes and attempting to pervert the course of justice by interfering with star witness Chui. After Chui was killed in Singapore on March 29, 1995, the prosecution agreed in October 1996 to drop a charge of conspiracy to murder in return for Tin pleading guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by trying to stop Chui from giving evidence. In September 1996, Chong committed suicide by leaping from his luxury Robinson Heights flat while awaiting trial. Yeung was cleared of plotting to smuggle cigarettes worth $7 million in June when a District Court judge ruled there were weaknesses in the case. In November 1998, Yeung was jailed for two years in the District Court for smuggling counterfeit cigarettes from the mainland.