Quarry Bay shooting

Hong Kong shooting: suspect asked bodyguard association where she could buy bulletproof vest for use in mainland China

Head of International Bodyguard Association confirms Ada Tsim applied for membership in February but refuted her claims to be first Hong Kong female bodyguard qualified by association

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 June, 2018, 11:36am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 June, 2018, 9:27pm

The woman suspected of gunning down four relatives in a Hong Kong park on Tuesday made an “unusual request” about buying a bulletproof vest, the head of the International Bodyguard Association revealed on Thursday, while also refuting claims she had made about her overseas training.

James Shortt, who has been managing the association for nearly three decades, confirmed Ada Tsim Sum-kit – the 44-year-old suspect in a shooting in which two people died and two others were injured – applied for a year’s membership in February, but never submitted her ID for the security hologram required to complete the process.

“She contacted us in January using the [surname] Lee … On her application, she used another name [which was] not Lee,” Shortt said, adding that he understood Tsim was working as a bodyguard in mainland China.

“Subsequently, she made some unusual requests and my office contacted her through email … asking her to meet me when I visited Hong Kong in April. She never responded.”

Tsim’s request, according to Shortt, was “where she could purchase a ballistic protection vest for use in mainland China”.

Tsim claimed to be the first Hong Kong female bodyguard qualified by the association on the website of her own bodyguard service company, something Shortt denied.

“Over a 25-year period, we have trained a number of women as bodyguards in Hong Kong, including Hong Kong-based, mainland-based, Europeans and Antipodeans,” Shortt said. “She was not the first.”

Tsim was however the only woman among 17 candidates on a threat management training course provided by the association in Naga City in the Philippines, in February.

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Its syllabus included physical training every morning, how to provide a protective escort, searching for and recognising electronic surveillance devices and improvised explosion devices, as well as the duties and ethics of bodyguards.

According to its official website, the International Bodyguard Association was founded in 1957 and requires its members not to engage in any illegal activities that could jeopardise their responsibilities in the code of ethics.