Murder suspect caught while drinking beer

Top News | Wallis Wang 15 Oct 2021

Police are seeking a motive for the killing of a taxi driver in Sai Wan in the early hours of Tuesday.

That follows the arrest of a suspect, 31-year-old Eurasian Matthew Choi Naam-sang, while he was drinking beer on Lamma Island on Wednesday night.

Investigators believe Choi hacked 48-year-old cabbie Wai Kim-hung on the neck with a cleaver in Sai Wan.

Chief inspector Terrence Tse Tsz-kwan of the Hong Kong Island Regional Crime Unit said initial investigations point to Choi having committed the crime alone and that he and the victim, a father of three, did not know each other.

But officers were still investigating whether he was instigated by others or had accomplices. Choi's mental status was also being checked.

Tse said Choi fled to Lamma Island on Tuesday afternoon after changing his clothes.

He was apprehended at 8.36pm on Wednesday at a store near Lamma's Yung Shue Wan pier after a resident called police.

Choi did not resist arrest and was not carrying a weapon. He denied killing Wai, though officers later found a stab-proof vest and a folding knife with a nine-centimeter blade in a rubbish bag in the vicinity.

A resident living near the store, Loura, said Choi had been sitting outside the store all day.

Residents wondered who he was and why he was there, Loura said, but they were scared as Choi glared fiercely at them. Officers checking security footage at the scene of the crime and Wai's dashboard camera found Choi boarded the taxi after leaving a hotel on Eastern Street in the early hours of Tuesday.

"But after a minute the suspect left the taxi quickly and fled to Des Voeux Road West," Tse said.

Wai, bleeding from the neck, then scrambled out of his cab and fell to the ground.

It is understood the dashboard camera also shows Wai with his hands on his bleeding neck only a dozen seconds after Choi had boarded it .

Investigators thought it highly unlikely that an argument could have occurred during the short time Choi was in the taxi and so they would not rule out that it had been a random attack.

Wai, who left a wife and also a son and two daughters aged nine to 18, was found covered in blood and unconscious on the ground at the junction of Eastern Street and Queen's Road West at 4.50am.

He had sustained a seven-centimeter long, two-cm deep cut on the right side of his neck near the carotid artery, and he was pronounced dead at 6.17am after being rushed to Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam.

Choi, born to a Hong Kong father and an English mother in South Africa, arrived in the SAR in 2015 to stay with his father.

He had studied in the United Kingdom and claimed to have worked as a software engineer in South Africa.

He has been living with his father and an uncle on Second Street in Sai Ying Pun since moving to Hong Kong.

Choi also started a YouTube channel on which he made remarks about "being brainwashed through the microwave." He said he had been followed by someone for a few years, which destroyed his family, career and relationships with friends.

Records show that police arrested and charged him with possession of offensive weapons in 2019 after finding two knives wrapped in newspaper in his bedroom.

But Choi was acquitted after it could not be proved that he intended to use the knives for an unlawful purpose.

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