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Hong Kong courts

Undercover Hong Kong police officer told by doctor at five-star hotel to get liposuction in South Korea, court hears

She testified the medical consultation carried out without local qualification led to her being ‘prescribed’ removal of fat from her arms, thighs and belly

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 May, 2018, 9:28pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 May, 2018, 10:22pm

A South Korean doctor examined an undercover policewoman’s body at a five-star Hong Kong hotel and suggested she get liposuction done in his home country, a court heard on Thursday.

Police officer Yam Ka-bo told Eastern Court that during the sting operation at Conrad Hong Kong on November 20, 2016, she and a colleague had pretended to be a couple at the appointment which the force had made based on intelligence.

Testifying on Thursday, Yam said Seo Jae-won, 37, pressed and pinched her various body parts, before concluding the officer could undergo surgery in South Korea to remove fat from her arms, thighs and belly.

“There aren’t that many people in Hong Kong who get the hang of [liposuction],” Yam recalled being reassured by Seo. “But in South Korea, every doctor knows how to do it, and it’s quite common.”

Senior public prosecutor Jasmine Ching said not only did Seo perform a medical consultation without a local qualification, but he also “prescribed” liposuction treatments.

Seo, another South Korean woman named Ryu Seung-yeon, 28, and Hongkonger Cheung Lok-yan, 33, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to a joint count of practising medicine without a registration. They were among a group of at least five people arrested after the undercover operation two years ago.

While Seo and Ryu pleaded not guilty to an additional count of breaching their condition of stay, Cheung denied two counts of aiding and abetting them.

Hong Kong doctor who did fatal liposuction was grossly negligent, court hears

But two other South Korean women – Kim Sun-kyoung, 51, who claimed to be a company director, and Park Haemi, an employee – walked free from court on Thursday, after prosecutors gave up making a case against them. They were originally accused of taking part in a conspiracy.

Testifying on Thursday, Yam, who went by the alias “Crystal”, recalled that a woman named Mathias wearing an orange top with the word “365MC” on it, took her to the hotel’s 44th floor after her arrival at about 10am. A suite and room were made available, and Mathias translated the conversation from Korean to Cantonese, Yam said.

He began to press, pull and pinch my skin, starting from my lower legs
Yam Ka-bo, police officer

She was told that a male doctor, specialising in liposuction, and a female doctor who performed plastic surgery, were waiting for her.

Kim, who spoke to Yam in Mandarin, then raised the possibility of a nose job and recommended a few treatments. Yam said she was then taken to see Seo.

The policewoman recalled being asked to change into a robe in a bathroom before Seo came in and started measuring her.

“He began to press, pull and pinch my skin, starting from my lower legs,” she testified, adding that Seo palpated other parts of her body for possible liposuction.

Seo recommended Yam remove fat from her arms, thighs and belly, she said, advising that the South Korean doctors were experienced.

“Although your weight may not come down a lot, you would look a lot thinner,” Yam said Seo told her.

Yam continues her testimony before Magistrate Li Chi-ho on Friday.