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Crime in Hong Kong

Hong Kong police arrest seven in body-under-the-bridge case as investigation suggests victim knew his attackers

Police say ‘relationship dispute’ may be at heart of killing that saw body discovered near airport at construction site for mega bridge

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 May, 2018, 9:03pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 May, 2018, 11:04pm

Hong Kong police have arrested seven drug users with gang ties after a man’s plastic-wrapped body was found at the construction site of a bridge linking the city to mainland China.

The triad-affiliated group comprised five men, aged 39 to 59, and two women, 24 and 48, who were taken into custody in Hung Hom, Mong Kok, Tuen Mun and Aberdeen on Saturday morning, on suspicion of murder and preventing the lawful burial of a body.

The victim, whose body was discovered earlier this month in Tung Chung, has been identified as a 30-year-old man surnamed Siu.

A police source said Siu had a significant criminal record, and is believed to have known his attackers.

“The victim and the related suspects have a background in organised crime, and have a habit of drug consumption,” acting superintendent Wesly Tse Tan-sang said on Sunday.

Tse said a “relationship dispute” may have broken out between the group at some point before the murder.

“We will not rule out the possibility of more arrests,” he said.

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At 8.30am on May 4 construction workers at the East Coast Road site, near Hong Kong International Airport, discovered a foul-smelling object wrapped in plastic close to a pile of debris, and called police.

Siu’s tattooed body was later found wrapped in three to four layers of plastic rubbish bags, which prevented the corpse from decaying completely.

No obvious fatal wounds were found on his body, but two wounds were discovered on the back of his head, possibly from blows from a blunt object, Tse said.

Police have not yet found a murder weapon, and an autopsy will be needed to determine the exact cause of death.

The victim was not carrying any identification documents or belongings on him at the time, and had already been dead for about two weeks before the body was discovered.

A police source said Siu had a string of criminal records that included drug trafficking, criminal intimidation, theft and robbery.

Police are still investigating whether Siu died at the construction site, or if his body was dumped there after he had been murdered somewhere else.

The area, which is part of the construction site of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, did not have security guards or surveillance cameras, meaning anyone could have entered undetected.

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The case came after police announced in January that the city enjoyed its lowest level of crime in 46 years last year.

A total of 56,017 crimes were reported in 2017, a 7.6 per cent drop from 2016. That translates to 758 cases per 100,000 people in Hong Kong, which is the lowest since 1971.

Murder cases decreased by 14.3 per cent to 24 cases last year, while robbery slumped by 37 per cent to 163 cases.