Queenie Rosita Law became well known to Hongkongers for a truly unfortunate incident in 2015.
When she was held captive in a small cave in the wilderness of Sai Kung, fed only with some sausage buns while wondering if she would be killed anytime soon and while her relatives and the police had no clue regarding her whereabouts, she made up her mind to make public her ordeal if she ever survived.
The high-profile kidnapping of the granddaughter of billionaire and local textile tycoon Law Ting-pong, founder of fashion chain Bossini with more than 900 outlets across Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Singapore, rattled Hong Kong, in particular its moneyed class.
Fast-forward two years in her own studio in Sheung Wan, a high-spirited Queenie told the Hong Kong Economic Journal that her new book, Dear Life, published by the newspaper this month, represented her deep gratitude for being able to continue with her life, after the four-night agony taught her how fragile life can be.
She said in the book that, while held hostage, she kept asking her seven captors from the mainland’s poverty-stricken Guizhou province if they would eventually murder her, imploring their mercy, even begging tearfully like a child to keep her alive.
She revealed that when the kidnappers broke into her family’s grand villa on Kam Shue Road near Clearwater Bay at 2 a.m. on April 25, 2015, she was with her boyfriend, who was not yet introduced to her parents. The gang subdued the pair after a brief tussle, tied her boyfriend up and whisked her away to a cave they had dug beforehand.
Her parents were later shocked to find a stranger trussed and gagged in their daughter’s room, before they got a phone call demanding a ransom of HK$40 million.
‘They envied me’
The Bossini heiress didn’t specify the names of the kidnappers — all have been caught, convicted and jailed for two to 15 years — but one tall man was indeed very nice to her.
“We chatted in the cave, and he told me he couldn’t marry his ex-girlfriend because her parents thought he was too poor… He then began dating another girl, but feared he could never be able to stay with her, now that he had to be on the run ever since the kidnapping,” said Queenie.
“He said he envied people like me so much, people born in a well-to-do family and never had to worry about how to make a living.
Queenie replied with an unhesitating “no” when asked if she hated these people that subjected her to such trauma: “I understand their hardship, but I don’t quite agree with the way they dealt with it.”
The kidnappers, usually masked, treated her with some courtesy and even allowed her some privacy when she changed clothes or relieved herself. So much so that she thought it must be her “last supper” when they asked her one night what she wanted to eat before they went to buy food for her.
Queenie also sensed the growing dissension among the seven culprits, and in their frequent quarrels she overheard someone say he wanted out.
Meanwhile, Queenie’s father lost no time calling the police, and tried his best to prolong phone calls to the abductors so agents could pinpoint their exact position. One phone call even lasted 20 minutes.
A shrewd businessman, Queenie’s father was aggressive and bargained and slashed down the ransom by almost half. He went so far as to hang up the call even though his daughter was still held captive, Queenie revealed in her book.
“My father is bold but also prudent, he’s good at negotiations and getting a bargain… all he did was to save me.”
On April 28, her father drove up to the Kowloon Peak and left a huge case loaded with cash in a public toilet, as agreed with the kidnappers. Queenie was then, upon receipt of the ransom, taken downhill and released near a major road in Sai Kung the same evening.
“The tall man told me to run and never look back, so I did.”
She held a press conference two days after her release, despite the police’s strong objections to such an event.
The police on both sides of the border, in the meantime, launched a coordinated manhunt and tracked down all suspects, one in Hong Kong and the others in the mainland, disbanding the syndicate. Much of the ransom was also recovered as well, other than the HK$110,000 already spent.
Queenie has never returned to the family’s Sai Kung villa ever since.
She is not worried that these people may one day find her to seek revenge after their jail terms. She believes they have been taught a lesson. She prefers not to hire any bodyguards either, but admits she checks doors and windows are securely locked multiple times each night before going to bed.
A graduate from the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, Queenie has more resolve than ever to pursue her career as a painter and graphic designer.
“I have no privacy nowadays when journalists still chase after me for interviews, but on a positive note, this may be good for my design business.”
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 18
Translation by Frank Chen with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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