An unemployed man blackmailed a property management firm into paying him HK$30,000 by threatening to cause trouble at a Sai Wan Ho public housing estate by lodging complaints with authorities and the press, a court heard yesterday. Andy Li Kwok-kwong, 45, pleaded not guilty to two counts of blackmail and two counts of criminal damage at the District Court. Wong Wing-to, a director of Kai Fu Property Services, said his company was afraid that complaints to the Housing Department would lead to the firm losing the contract to manage Hing Tung Estate. Wong said that in early October last year, a colleague told him that Li, a resident of the estate, demanded money from the firm, saying if he didn’t get it he would cause trouble on the estate. “I was worried about that,” Wong said. “He was initially asking for HK$50,000 to HK$60,000. I said we could not afford it. He then asked for HK$20,000 to HK$30,000.” Wong told the court that Li threatened to lodge complaints about hygiene at the estate with the Housing Department, the Ombudsman and the press. Testifying for the prosecution was Sum Kwok-chi, a Kai Fu manager who quit the firm two months after being assigned to manage the estate, citing Li’s actions as one of the reasons. Sum said Li often went to his office and grumbled about his poor health, saying he did not have enough money. The court heard that Sum lent Li money more than 20 times in sums ranging from HK$200 to HK$1,000. Li was also accused of spilling white oil at the lift lobby on the ninth floor of the estate’s Hing Hong House on two occasions. The trial continues today.