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Hong Kong courts

Hong Kong student whose girlfriend was killed on Taiwan holiday faces theft and money laundering trial

Chan Tong-kai, 19, will face a jury at the High Court on charges related to property belonging to his lover Poon Hiu-wing, who was found dead outside Taipei in March

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 August, 2018, 1:33pm
UPDATED : Friday, 24 August, 2018, 6:38pm

A Hong Kong student whose pregnant girlfriend was killed during their holiday to Taiwan in February will stand trial at the city’s highest criminal court on charges of theft and money laundering.

Prosecutors on Wednesday laid out a raft of charges against Chan Tong-kai, 19, and applied to send his case to the Court of First Instance, where he will be tried by a jury.

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The teenager faces four counts of dealing with property known or believed to represent the proceeds of an indictable offence, as well as three alternative counts of theft, Kwun Tong Court heard. A murder investigation is ongoing over the death of his girlfriend, Poon Hiu-wing, 20.

The property in question included Poon’s HSBC bank card, a Casio digital camera, an iPhone 6, and NT$20,000 (US$650) and HK$19,200 (US$2,445) in cash.

In the alternative to money laundering, Chan was accused of stealing the HK$19,200. The alleged offences were said to have taken place between February 17 and March 13.

Chan, who has been on remand for five months since he returned home alone from Taiwan on February 17, was not required to enter a plea on Wednesday. He did not apply for bail.

Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai ordered his case be transferred to Eastern Court for committal to the High Court, of which the Court of First Instance is a part, on September 10.

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Dealing with property known or believed to represent the proceeds of an indictable offence is punishable by a HK$5 million fine (US$636,947) and 14 years’ imprisonment under Hong Kong’s Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance. Theft carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

Poon died while on holiday with Chan in February. Her decomposed body was discovered on March 13 in bushes near Zhuwei MRT station on the outskirts of Taipei.

Autopsy results showed she was three months pregnant at the time.