HK hunts for six kidnappers fleeing with $5m

HK hunts for six kidnappers fleeing with $5m

Hong Kong yesterday conducted a citywide manhunt in an effort to nab six men who were on the run with a HK$28 million (S$4.8 million) ransom received from kidnapping a woman, the media reported.

Police have set up roadblocks across the city yesterday, including along the border, to stop the gang from fleeing to mainland China, which is likely where they came from, reported the South China Morning Post.

According to Apple Daily, some traffic lights were fixed at red, so that vehicles would be stopped for heavily armed police officers to conduct vehicle inspections.

Uniformed police officers patrolling the streets have also been told to look out for the kidnappers, reported the Post, which said that at least one helicopter had joined the search.

The police also released the descriptions of four of the men in an appeal to the public to help track them down.

According to a police statement, the four men speak Putonghua, which is the mainland's term for Mandarin.

There are no descriptions of the other two.

The authorities said the kidnapping incident took place on Saturday, when the men broke into a bungalow in Sai Kung in eastern New Territories.

After seizing HK$2 million worth of valuables, the men kidnapped a 29-year-old woman, whom Apple Daily said is the daughter of a wealthy developer.

"The gang initially demanded HK$40 million to HK$50 million from her family. After negotiations, the amount was lowered to HK$28 million," the Post quoted a police source as saying.

The woman was found safe in Sai Kung's Tseung Kwan O district on Tuesday night after the ransom was paid at the Kowloon Peak.

However, the kidnappers got away in a white car with the 28 bags of ransom money, each containing HK$1 million.

"They have no chance to cross the border through control points," one police source told the Post.

"I think they can leave Hong Kong only through illegal channels and our officers are looking into this aspect."

Hong Kong, a city of seven million people, is considered to be safe, with rates of violent crimes dropping by almost 10 per cent last year compared to 2013, reported Agence France-Presse.

Robbery incidents also fell 38.2 per cent to 309 cases last year, compared to figures from 2013.

myp@sph.com.sg


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