13th October 2021 – (Hong Kong) A 48-year-old taxi driver was assaulted by a 31-year-old mixed-race male passenger in the early morning of yesterday (12th) and was certified dead after being sent to the hospital. The police released a recent photo of the suspect today (13th), stating that he is about 1.8 meters tall, weighs about 70 kg, is of medium build, has white skin and short black hair, and was wearing a light green trench coat and blue long jeans when he last appeared.
Based on intelligence collection and analysis, the police went to Lamma Island to investigate and search for the suspect, Matthew Choi who was born in South Africa and of Chinese-British descent. During this period, a member of the public reported that a man on the island resembling the suspect was spotted. It is believed that the suspect changed clothes after the crime in Western District and then boarded the ferry to Lamma Island on the same day.
The police then intercepted the suspect near Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier before arresting him at around 8.36pm today. He was wearing a red T-shirt at the time. Police received a report from residents on the island earlier saying that a man resembling the suspect was drinking beer outside a store. It is reported that the store is located near Tai Wan San Tsuen but the shop owner, Mr. Chan, said that it was closed yesterday, so CCTV footage did not capture the arrest. The police officers then escorted Choi onto a marine police boat before taking him back to Cheung Chau Police Station.
He was then transferred to another police station via Marine Police Regional Headquarters in Sai Wan Ho for detention. It is reported that the suspect did not have weapons or superficial injuries when he was arrested. The detectives later found a black garbage bag in the nearby grass. There was a black stab-resistant vest and a pocket knife about 9 cm in length hidden in the bag.
A YouTube account also named “Matthew Choi” uploaded multiple short videos. One of the short videos was uploaded in May 2019, marked as South Africa, and his reported occupation matches his Linkedin account. He listed himself as a graduate from Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom.
He said in the video that he is from New Zealand and had worked in South Africa. He pointed out that he was investigated and followed by the local Chinese triads, and even became the target of V2K after resigning from Bridgestone Tire Company in South Africa. His family, work, friends, etc were disrupted so he fled from South Africa to Hong Kong.
It is understood that the suspect in this case was also involved in the possession of offensive weapons in 2019. Choi, a computer technician, was suspected of threatening to imitate the American shooting on the Internet. In October 2019, the police seized a 28 cm long kitchen knife and a 24 cm long knife at his residence. One of the knives was engraved with the words ‘MY ELF WEAPON”. In a 2013 shooting incident at a naval yard in the United States, the gun held by the killer also had the same words written on it. According to local investigators, the word “ELF” is believed to mean “extremely low frequency”.
Choi was once charged with possession of an offensive weapon and was remanded in custody at the Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre. However, when Choi went to court in December of the same year, the prosecution claimed that there was no evidence that the defendant intended to use the knife for illegal purposes in a public place, so the prosecution dropped the case and he was released in court. The prosecution also pointed out that the earlier psychiatric report did not show that the defendant was mentally ill, only that his personality was more extreme.
Choi was born in South Africa and lived with his uncle, and his parents were not in Hong Kong. He was interviewed by the media after his charge was dropped and he stated that he is of Chinese-British origin, possessing British national status and a Hong Kong identity card, and he only temporarily stayed in Hong Kong due to work.