An expatriate financial consultant has been placed under police protection after he was chopped, in an apparent case of mistaken identity, outside a Rugby Sevens party at a private club in So Kon Po early on Monday morning. Benjamin Ford, 32, who had volunteered to work behind the bar at the party for rugby fans in the Indian Recreation Club at the end of the Rugby World Cup Sevens, was recovering in hospital last night. The fund-raising Valley Marquee party was organised by the Valley RFC. Mr Ford, a financial consultant with an investment firm in the city, is a Valley member. Police protection was offered because the victim feared a further attack, according to sources. At least two police officers are assigned to protect him in hospital around the clock. For his safety, police yesterday refused to reveal which hospital is treating him. Mr Ford underwent 15 hours of surgery to treat his chop wounds and reattach two fingers of his right hand severed in the attack. Initial investigations showed he had not had a dispute with anyone at the party and he did not know the attackers, police said. The attack was apparently a 'warning' rather than an attempt to kill the victim, because the assailants targeted all four limbs rather than vital organs in the attack, a police source said. 'Investigations reveal that the victim might have been attacked by mistake. It is possible that the attack was provoked by a dispute in the party earlier,' the source said. One or two hours before the attack, a couple were involved in a dispute with a bouncer at the party. The row erupted when the man, who had come with his girlfriend, was asked to leave the party after he became drunk and abusive. The pair left after the dispute. Mr Ford was not involved in the dispute. It is understood the drunk man is also an expatriate and works in Hong Kong, and his girlfriend is a Chinese woman. No one had been arrested. Anti-triad officers from Hong Kong Island regional crime unit have been assigned to the case as the culprits may have triad links. Mr Ford was attacked as his taxi was about to pull away from the curb after he left the club. A white car intercepted the cab and four Chinese men wearing surgical masks jumped out and attacked him without saying a word. The gang opened the taxi door and began to chop the victim. He was then dragged out of the cab and further assaulted on the pavement. The victim was left with multiple chop wounds and was bleeding profusely on the walkway. The attackers sped off in the white car before police arrived. It is understood the blades had been smeared with excrement. The severed fingers were removed from the cab and put on ice before being taken to hospital for reattachment. Police said the white car was a stolen vehicle and has not yet been found.