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Crime in Hong Kong

Late Hong Kong tycoon Cheng Yu-tung’s family home burgled for second time in two years

No CCTV footage of any suspicious persons, and no arrests have been made

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 May, 2018, 9:52am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 May, 2018, 10:49pm

A luxury home owned by the family of late Hong Kong property tycoon Cheng Yu-tung was found burgled for the second time in two years on Thursday morning, with jewellery and HK$30,000 (US$3,820) missing.

A female housekeeper reported the case at 5.46am, saying there had been a burglary at 12 Repulse Bay Road. Initial investigation showed that about 10 pieces of gold jewellery, some red packets and cash were taken after the burglar entered an unoccupied main bedroom and a storeroom.

A review of CCTV footage has yet to show any suspicious persons, and no arrests were made as of Thursday evening.

Known as Estrellita, the property is located on the side of the 433-metre Violet Hill. It has its own outdoor tennis court and swimming pool on the hillside.

A police source said the housekeeper reported the case after she found a window on the first floor had been prised open.

“A wardrobe in the room was also levered [open]. No one was injured,” the source said. “It is unclear when the burglary took place as the housekeeper last found the rooms in good shape on Tuesday. So the crime happened sometime between Tuesday and Thursday morning.”

The Post understands that Cheng’s widow, Chow Tsui-ying, was at home when police arrived.

The house was also burgled on August 8, 2016. During that break-in, at least four 15cm gold statues were stolen from an unoccupied guest room.

Billionaire tycoon the latest target in spate of high-profile Hong Kong break-ins

Cheng Yu-tung, who founded real estate investment firm New World Development and jewellery chain Chow Tai Fook, was in 2016 ranked the third-richest person in Hong Kong and 58th in the world by Forbes, with a net worth of US$16.5 billion. He died in September 2016.

His son, Henry Cheng, 71, is currently ranked Hong Kong’s 49th richest person, with a net worth of US$1.3 billion. The Cheng family’s net worth amounts to US$22.5 billion. It is ranked third in Hong Kong and eighth in Asia.

There were 1,872 burglary cases in the city last year, down 23 per cent from 2016 and the lowest total since records were first kept in 1969. About 1,308 of the cases involved residential premises.

Luxury houses and flats in affluent areas such as The Peak, Repulse Bay, Kowloon Tong and Deep Water Bay have been increasingly targeted by burglars in recent years.

True visionary: Hong Kong tycoon Cheng Yu-tung was quick to spot an opportunity … and know when to stand aside

Justice minister Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah and her husband, engineer Otto Poon Lok-to, have also fallen victim. On Boxing Day in 2016, Cheng’s house at Villa De Mer in Tuen Mun and Poon’s house, located next door, were burgled.

Cheng lost HK$3 million in cash and valuables, while HK$13,000 in cash and gold coins belonging to Poon went missing.