SHORTLY before Christmas, 1989, Reid fled Hong Kong by fishing boat and sampan, ending up at Guangzhou Airport and trying to explain to authorities why he was travelling on a passport with the Chinese name of a Hong Kong labourer. He said it took nine hours to convince the authorities all was above-board, while in another room one of his accomplices, Alick Au Shui-yuen, denied having ever met Reid. 'I didn't think I could ever convince them why I was travelling on a Chinese passport,' Reid said. 'There were many times I thought of putting my hand up and asking for the New Zealand embassy and seeing how I could extricate myself. 'I just bluffed it out. It was very nerve-wracking.' Their lies worked and they flew back to Hong Kong, then to Manila where Reid said he lived with other fugitives on the run in a safe-house near the airport. He said he saw 'Fast' Eddie Chan, a former Hong Kong police officer and reputed head of the New York and Chicago Chinese community mafia, every other day and helped celebrate his birthday at a party in Manila. Reid said that most days he was drunk in a nightclub called the Moulin Rouge. 'Eddie was keen to keep me out of harm's way, I guess because they figured I was the weak link and that the Chinese would all stick together, but I would not if the ICAC got me,' he said. 'I thought it was a possibility [being killed before reaching Macau on the first leg of the escape]. 'But it's a big step to murder someone and I figure it was a step they were not prepared to take at that particular point in time. 'I think at times in retrospect they probably regret not having murdered me.' After being recaptured in March, 1990, in an operation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption and Philippines authorities, Reid was held in isolated custody in the ICAC's cells on top of the Murray Road carpark on Central. Security chiefs were tipped off that the evidence he had agreed to give as a Crown witness against his co-conspirators and escape accomplices placed his life at risk. The ICAC was told that when Reid left the confines of the ICAC cells on top of the Murray Road headquarters building in Central and placed in prison, he would be killed. He was forced to contest a court bid to have him transferred from ICAC custody, which he did successfully. About 1,000 days after he was picked up he was transferred to the special protective unit of Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre near Tuen Mun to serve another 20 months for his conviction of having assets he could not explain. 'Siu Lam was a holiday camp compared with the ICAC,' he said. 'I had a good relationship [in Siu Lam] with 23 prisoners, there was never any trouble. 'They sometimes had arguments, but I didn't get involved. 'I did a lot of [legal] work for them in different ways, drafting letters to government departments, petitions to the Governor. 'The prisoners appreciated that, and partly for that reason I had a good relationship with them,' he said.