Date
22 January 2017
Lai Man-wa (left) was found dead in a public toilet (right) in Macau on Friday. Photos: Wen Wei Po, Apple Daily
Lai Man-wa (left) was found dead in a public toilet (right) in Macau on Friday. Photos: Wen Wei Po, Apple Daily

Police seek reasons for Macau customs chief’s suicide

Police continued to look into the death of Macau’s customs chief even after it was declared a suicide.

Lai Man-wa, 56, director-general of the Macau Customs Service, was found dead by a cleaning lady around 3:30 p.m. Friday inside a public toilet at Ocean Gardens, Apple Daily reported.

Four hours later, Chief Executive Fernando Chui announced her death, saying Lai had committed suicide.

Chui also stressed that Lai was not being investigated by the city’s corruption watchdog before her death.

According to information released by the judiciary police on Saturday, Lai had taken sleeping pills, cut the veins on her neck and wrists with a razor, and put a plastic bag over her head.

She was rushed to hospital after being found lying in a pool of blood but it was too late to bring her back.

The judiciary police ruled out foul play as her clothes were intact and there were no signs of struggle.

Investigators said they were looking for possible reasons why she decided to end her life.

Many people inside and outside the government were shocked by the news of her death.

They were wondering why she decided to do it in a public toilet. They also noted that Lai had assumed her post less than a year ago, receiving a monthly pay of more than HK$100,000. She was only four years away from retirement.

Speculation ranged from health and family issues to work pressure.

A Facebook post said some legislators were questioning why the customs bureau did not disclose the cases it had handled over the past 10 years.

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TL/AC/CG

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