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Crime in Hong Kong

Hong Kong police hunt gang after HK$10 million in cash stolen in violent 30-second robbery in Tsim Sha Tsui

Money exchange shop employee suffers head injury as gang attack him with glass bottle on his way to a car

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 August, 2018, 9:28pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 August, 2018, 1:52pm

Hong Kong police are hunting a gang of four who attacked a money exchange shop employee in Tsim Sha Tsui on Wednesday night and stole HK$10 million (US$1.3 million) in cash.

The 26-year-old man and two colleagues were about to get into a white seven-seater car outside Far East Mansion on Middle Road at about 7.20pm, when a member of the gang smashed a glass bottle on the man’s head and took off.

A police source said shop staff ran after the masked robber.

“When [they] gave chase, two culprits opened the boot and took two suitcases.”

The source added that another shop employee who witnessed the incident then had a scuffle with one of the robbers, who ended up abandoning the suitcase he was holding. It did not contain any cash.

The two robbers then fled on foot along Middle Road with the remaining suitcase that had HK$10 million, heading in the direction of Nathan Road.

From there, they escaped in a vehicle fitted with a fake licence plate and driven by a fourth suspect.

The cash was from a money changer in Far East Mansion and had just been collected by the three men. The trio had been sent by another money exchange firm that was doing business with the first changer, acting Chief Inspector Chan Ka-ying from Yau Tsim police district said.

The gang included one Chinese man and two South Asians, Chan said. Details about the driver in the getaway car were not known.

CCTV footage obtained by media showed the incident took place within 30 seconds.

Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui – the shoppers’ and robbers’ paradise in Hong Kong

A police source said the robbery was “premeditated”. The gang appeared to have knowledge of the time and location of the delivery, and made plans to distract the victims before escaping.

“The shop had arranged a meeting and scheduled to transfer the money to someone else at 7.15pm,” the source said. “So the robbers must have known about the plan in advance.”

The injured man was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei and was in a stable condition.

Officers at the scene collected CCTV footage from nearby businesses. So far there has been no trace of the suspects and no one has been arrested. Yau Tsim district crime squad is investigating.

Tsim Sha Tsui has been a hotspot for robberies recently.

In a high profile case of a similar nature in February, five men were robbed of two suitcases carrying more than 400 million Japanese yen (HK$32 million) from a money changer in Chungking Mansions on Nathan Road.

Police arrested three men and recovered the money after intercepting the getaway car on a flyover outside Mei Foo Sun Chuen housing estate in Lai Chi Kok within the day. They arrested another three men later.

Later in the same month, a man had US$50,000 (HK$390,000) stolen when two men attacked him on Middle Road.