9th December 2023 – (Hong Kong) On Friday, five men and women were sentenced to imprisonment ranging from six to nine years for their involvement in a botched robbery attempt that took place in mid-2019. The defendants had targeted two individuals, aiming to steal up to US$1.68 million in cash. However, their plans were thwarted when the police intercepted and apprehended them.
The individuals facing charges are Hung Kwan-yu, 33, So Ka-hei, 28, Leung Tsz-chung, 27, So Muk-kin, 29, and Lai Wai-chun, 54. All five were charged with attempted robbery, and with the exception of Lai, they had previously pleaded guilty to the charges.
Leung also confessed to resisting arrest while in possession of weapons, while So Muk-kin admitted to possessing weapons without a license. Consequently, Leung was handed a seven-year prison sentence, while So Muk-kin received a sentence of six years and nine months.
Lai, who was found guilty later on, received the most severe sentence of nine years. Hung and So Ka-hei were both sentenced to six years’ imprisonment.
During the proceedings in the High Court, Deputy Judge Amanda Woodcock acknowledged that the two intended victims would have fallen victim to the substantial cash robbery had it not been for the timely intervention of the police.
Woodcock further revealed that the five defendants had meticulously planned their criminal act in advance, highlighting their diverse array of weapon choices, including beef knives, stun guns, and hammers. The four male defendants were armed during the incident, and they had prepared two private vehicles, which would have been set ablaze had their robbery been successful.
The judge also emphasised that Lai shared equal responsibility with the other four defendants. Lai’s role involved trailing the two targets and providing her accomplices with crucial information. Considering the presence of armed violence and the significant amount of cash involved, Woodcock adjusted the starting point for sentencing to nine years.
The charges against the defendants stemmed from their planned robbery targeting a man and a woman at the Lok Ma Chau public transport interchange on 3rd July, 2019.
The court had earlier heard that the defendants were intercepted by the police just before the robbery took place. They confronted the officers with stun guns, prompting the police to draw their pistols in response.