Date
26 May 2017
Wong Yuk-kwan was blindfolded and his ankles were cuffed when police found him. A video grab (right) shows Wong asking his family to pay the ransom as soon as possible. Photos: Apple Daily
Wong Yuk-kwan was blindfolded and his ankles were cuffed when police found him. A video grab (right) shows Wong asking his family to pay the ransom as soon as possible. Photos: Apple Daily

HK tycoon kidnappers demanded HK$70 million ransom in bitcoins

Taiwan police have so far arrested 15 people in connection with the kidnapping of Hong Kong tycoon Wong Yuk-kwan.

Wong, 68, chairman of Pearl Oriental Oil Ltd. (00632.HK), was rescued on Tuesday from a hut in Yunlin county in central Taiwan where he was held following his abduction outside his residence in New Taipei City on Sept. 20.

At a press conference on Wednesday, police said the suspects, led by a local triad member surnamed Tsai of the United Bamboo gang, adopted a highly sophisticated system to carry out the operation, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Investigation showed that the 15 gang members were divided into groups with specific tasks, such as kidnapping, guarding the victim, and providing food and other daily needs.

The kidnappers sent emails to Wong’s family from a place other than where the victim was staying and demanded that the HK$70 million ransom be paid using the digital currency Bitcoin.

Police started the operation to rescue Wong and arrest his abductors on Monday, when the ransom was supposed to be paid.

It is suspected that Wong’s abduction might be related to the fraud and money laundering charges he faced in Hong Kong. Wong posted a bail of HK$5 million in 2013.

A spokesman of the Department of Justice declined to comment, saying the case is undergoing the judicial process.

Wong appeared to be in good health when he was rescued except for bruises on his face.

He was taken to a local hospital in Yunlin before being transferred to another hospital in New Taipei City.

Pearl Oriental Oil said in a statement issued on Wednesday the board reached Wong earlier the day and he was able to resume his duties as chairman immediately.

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TL/AC/CG

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