Film-maker in real-life robbery

A DIRECTOR of kung fu films and a Chinese opera star were among 39 diners robbed at gunpoint in a $470,000 raid on a packed restaurant, the High Court heard yesterday.

Director Lau Kar-leung, his wife, former actress Yung Ching-ching, and singer Yuen Siu-fai were enjoying a quiet supper in the Tai Ping Koon Restaurant, Yau Ma Tei, when four gunmen burst in, it was claimed.

Diners screamed in terror as they were robbed of jewellery, watches and cash, prosecutor Wayne Moultrie said.

Lau was forced to hand over $320 and his watch. Yuen, seated at another table, was robbed of $1,200.

Mr Moultrie said Pun Luen-pan, 19, Lam Ka-lok, 20, Pang Oi-kwong, 20, and a fourth youth had ''systematically robbed'' diners in the raid on January 2 last year.

As the gang fled by taxi they opened fire on police constable Chan Chi-man and detective constable Cham Wui-kwai, wounding both officers, the court heard.

The raid happened a year after Pun and at least two ac complices robbed American banker William Overholt and a security guard of $6,780 after threatening him and his family with a gun at their home in Repulse Bay, the court heard.

Mr Overholt's wife Monina told the jury how she was stopped in the driveway of Belleview Garden by one of the men who pushed a gun in her face and ordered her out of her car.

Pun, of Sha Tin, denies robbing Mr Overholt of $4,600 and security guard Kwok Sum of $2,180 and possessing a firearm and ammunition on January 8, 1992.

He admitted robbing the restaurant and possessing a firearm on January 2, 1993, but denies shooting the policemen with intent to resist arrest.

Lam denies robbery, possession of a firearm, and shooting the officers. Pang, who claimed he was paid $10,000 to act as a lookout, denies robbery and possession of a firearm.

Pun's wife Fong Man-lai, 20, denies possessing a .45 calibre pistol and RGD-5 grenade on January 17, last year, and handling two watches stolen during the restaurant raid.

Pun also denies handling gold jewellery stolen from the Yu Hing Goldsmith Company in a $700,000 raid on February 14, 1992.

The trial before Deputy Judge Woolley continues today.