image image

Crime in Hong Kong

Mahjong game turns nasty in Hong Kong as bottle-wielding players rob cash

  • Police on hunt for two mainland Chinese men after row over cheating in traditional tile-based game
PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 January, 2019, 10:25am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 January, 2019, 10:27am

A game of mahjong turned nasty in Hong Kong during Monday’s early hours, when two men attacked another pair with glass bottles and robbed their money.

Police were searching for the two mainland Chinese attackers after the flare-up in Sham Shui Po, which stemmed from allegations of cheating.

The injured men, surnamed Li and Zhang, were also from the mainland. They suffered head injuries and were sent to the nearby Caritas Medical Centre.

The quartet had been playing the traditional tile-based game in a flat on Lai Chi Kok Road at 3.15am, police said.

Gathering a group of four around a square table for a game of mahjong has long been a favourite activity for Hongkongers and Chinese people. The game – commonly played during festivals such as Lunar New Year and at wedding banquets – is seen as a symbol of family bonds in Chinese society.

Familiar Hong Kong sound of mahjong tiles may be fading as more young people shun game

But not this time. Li, 50, and Zhang, 41, had lost a lot of money, and suspected the other two were cheating, sparking a row.

“The suspects attacked Li and Zhang with glass bottles. They robbed HK$10,000 (US$1,280) and US$800 from the two, then fled,” a police spokesman said.

The victims gave chase, but in vain. They called police at a convenience store nearby.