A security guard has admitted to stealing HK$1 million worth of gold owned by HSBC from a vault holding gold worth more than HK$77 million at the Kwai Chung Container Terminals. Lai Pak-hei, 27, told the Tsuen Wan Court yesterday that he took the gold to 'maintain a luxurious lifestyle' and pleaded guilty to four counts of theft. The vault, at Terminal Three, belongs to Brink's Hong Kong and Lai was assigned to guard it. He had regular access to its contents, but a supervisor had to open the gate to allow him in. HSBC had been keeping 290 pieces of 999.9 pure gold, each worth HK$267,000 or HK$77.4 million in total, at the vault since September last year. In February, the bank moved the gold to Fanling, and the gold's absence was discovered during an inventory. The supervisor notified management, which conducted an investigation. Lai came forward and admitted he stole the gold on four occasions between November last year and January. He pawned it all but managed to get only HK$134,000. He first pawned two bars for HK$30,000 and HK$50,000 respectively at one shop, the court heard. When he pawned a third bar at a different shop and found the gold could fetch HK$100,000, he bought the first two back from the first establishment to pawn them for a higher price, and also stole a fourth piece to pawn. Lai said he had spent all the money he had made. Magistrate Lambert Lee Ka-chai adjourned Lai's sentencing to April 14 and ordered that he be remanded in custody. Police declined to comment on exactly how Lai was able to take the gold from the vault, citing ongoing court proceedings. HSBC declined to comment. Brinks did not reply to a request for comment.