A man accused of killing three prostitutes in as many days in March last year told police he was forced to kill them because he had lost money in Macau, a court heard yesterday. According to the prosecution, Nadeem Razaq, 24, said to a sergeant after the officer arrested him: 'Ah sir, let me say frankly to you: I was forced to kill them. I lost money in Macau. They forced me to kill them so that I snatched money to repay them.' Razaq also allegedly sent text messages in Urdu to his brother admitting he had committed the murders and asking for help from a mobile phone of one of the victims. The claims were read as part of an opening statement by prosecutor Arthur Luk Yee-shun SC yesterday as Razaq faced the first day of his trial at the Court of First Instance for the murders of Sze Ming-lan, 35, Sun Xiumin, 30, and Tse Hau-yuen, 35, on March 14, 16 and 15 last year, respectively. Razaq, a Hong Kong man of Pakistani origin, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder. Sze, Sun and Tse were sex workers from the mainland who had settled legally in Hong Kong and operated one-woman brothels. They were found in flats on Tung Lok Street in Yuen Long, and on Wai Yan Street and Kwon Fuk Road in Tai Po. Autopsies determined they had been killed by pressure to the neck, Mr Luk said. A government forensic scientist found DNA matching Razaq's on a used condom containing semen and a bloodied garment at Sze's flat, a used condom at Sun's, a plastic straw at Tse's and nail clippings taken from her, Mr Luk said. Police found four palm prints that allegedly matched Razaq's at Sze's flat. Police found 17 items including two mobile phones on Razaq when they arrested him, Mr Luk said. Razaq admitted to taking the phones, one each from Sze and Sun, after he killed them. He also admitted to using one bank card stolen from a victim. Prosecutors intended to prove he used two, Mr Luk said. The court heard that Sze's husband Leung Nam, 75, grew worried after failing to reach her on either of her two mobile phones. He got firemen to prise the door open. He saw Sze lying face down, naked, and with a shower hose wrapped around her neck. He did not know what Sze did for a living but she had told him she worked at a sauna, he said. The court also heard that Sun was found by another woman, Amy, who was waiting to use her flat. When Sun did not come out, she and a man opened the door with a spare key and found Sun lying unconscious on the floor. Police found Tse after Ziteng, a sex workers' support organisation, reported her missing. Sun and Tse were found at locations 160 metres apart, the court heard. Police intercepted Razaq, who left for Macau in the early hours of March 16, at the Macau ferry pier with the help of his brother, Raza. The trial continues tomorrow before Madam Justice Clare-Marie Beeson.