SCMP Friday, February 9, 2001
Star's son kept entertained by three abductors
The nine-year-old son of Hong Kong actress and director Sylvia Chang Ai-chia was "showered with entertainment" during a seven-day kidnapping, a court heard yesterday.
His kidnappers - three jobless young men hoping to become millionaires - had moved him from one hotel to another in a suitcase between July 6 and July 12 last year.
Defence counsel Petrus Chan said the boy, Oscar, was never ill-treated and the only time he was slapped and hit was during a game. "He was provided with all sorts of entertainment [including] pay-TV programmes, and the defendants played with the boy in so-called pillow-fight games," Mr Chan said.
Leung Man-kwong, 22, Tsang Yiu-tung, 20, and Yuen Lee-man, 20, have previously admitted one joint charge of kidnapping.
They appeared yesterday for sentencing before Mr Justice Louis Tong Po-sun at the Court of First Instance.
The court heard police found the boy in a suitcase unhurt and blindfolded after intercepting two of the culprits as they stepped out of a hotel room on July 12. The third man was arrested soon afterwards near the Newton Hotel in Mongkok.
Prosecutor Robert Lee Kan-yung told the court an initial demand of $15 million was negotiated down to $8 million during 15 ransom calls Tsang made to the family home between July 6 and 11. No money was ever paid.
Oscar, the son of Ms Chang and Taiwanese businessman Wang Tsing-hsung, was targeted 18 months after Tsang, then a plumber's apprentice, had done some leak-proofing work at the family's home in Sai Kung.
"He came to know [the boy's] mother was a movie star when he saw the family photographs," Mr Lee said.
Tsang, unemployed since last May, put to Leung and Yuen the idea of taking Oscar captive for a ransom and promised each of them $1 million, or a quarter of any amount paid. He would pocket the remainder.
After conducting surveillance near the boy's home five to six times, the trio ventured out on the morning of July 6 last year.
Oscar had just left home for school in a chauffeur-driven family car when a white Toyota emerged from a lay-by to block his way.
The masked men jumped out of the vehicle armed with two imitation air pistols and a hammer, the court heard. Oscar's driver was handed a piece of paper while the boy was pulled out of the car. The driver rushed home and gave Oscar's parents the English-written note, which read: "You call the police, I kill him. You go home phone your boss." Police were called.
The trio pleaded guilty to the offence on November 24 at Eastern Court. Mr Justice Louis Tong Po-sun adjourned sentencing until Monday.