Cement-coffin victim 'murdered' for $30m

Top News | Phoebe Ng 11 Apr 2018

Three young men allegedly murdered a 28-year-old man to fulfill a HK$30 million killing order, the High Court was told yesterday.

The men allegedly belonged to an international criminal organization called "There."

Suspects Tsang Cheung-yan, 28, Keith Lau Shek-ho, 23, and Cheung Sin-hang, 25, allegedly killed Cheung Man-li, 28, in a flat in an industrial office block in Tsuen Wan before stuffing him into a box made of wooden boards and concrete dubbed as a "cement coffin."

Police found the corpse three weeks later, curled up like an infant, on March 29, 2016.

The three defendants had fled to Taiwan with their roommate, the then 18-year-old woman Ho Ling-yu, but were arrested and charged when they returned.

The trial started in the High Court yesterday, two years after the discovery of the body.

Prosecutor Richard Turnbull told the court the crime was premeditated.

The three suspects lived together in the Tsuen Wan flat with Ho. Tsang and the victim were business partners.

Ho - who is going to testify - overheard their murder plans.

"A day before the death, Ho heard Tsang telling the other two defendants that they could get HK$30 million if they killed the [Cheung]," Turnbull said.

He said at about 10am on March 4, Tsang and Cheung Sin-hang went to buy ropes, plastic bags and chloroform, while Lau brought a black panty which belonged to his ex-girlfriend.

They then poured chloroform onto the undergarment to suffocate the victim.

At 1pm, Ho heard a verbal dispute between the trio and Cheung Man-li, but the flat went quiet soon after.

The three even turned up the air-conditioner, and Tsang explained to Ho it was to let the cement "dry as soon as possible."

Tsang warned Ho not to alert police, and she complied as she was worried Tsang "may kill her boyfriend."

Ho later fled to Taiwan with the three suspects.

Turnbull said it was difficult for pathologists to ascertain the cause of death as the body had decomposed. He could have either been killed by several deep cuts, strangulation, or suffocated by chloroform.

Turnbull said the victim was killed after he went up to the flat to "fetch HK$5 million" from Tsang.

The murder trial started yesterday morning after an all-male jury was empaneled.

The defendants were each charged with a count of murder.

During interrogation, all three denied to be the "mastermind" and blamed each other.

The 35-day trial continues today before Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung and the seven-member jury.


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