Cheung Tze-keung Pt. 2
This episode features discussions of kidnapping and violence that some people may find offensive listener. Discretion is advised especially for children under thirteen may twenty third nineteen ninety six thirty one year old businessman. Victor Li sat locked inside a dark room trying to make sense of what was happening to him. It had only been a few hours since he had left his office. In Hong Kong to visit his father now he was the prisoner of armed assailants. Who had kidnapped him off. The sidewalk and thrown into a van has the long hours past. Victor grew increasingly uncomfortable. He hadn't gone to the bathroom in hours and his bound. Arms and legs were beginning to cramp anxiety flooded. His mind did his father. No he was missing. Would anyone be able to find him? His thoughts were interrupted by the return of his captors. The men blindfolded Victor and jostled him outside into a waiting van as they drove victor. Try to remain calm. Was it all over or was he about to die? This is hostage. Apar- cast original every week. We tell the stories behind the most captivating hostage situations and the people inside them. We'll also cover. The psychological tactics used in kidnapping situations. And what the human brain does when held captive Irma Blanco. And I'm Carter Roy. You can find episodes of hostage and all other park cast originals for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream hostage for free on spotify. Just open the APP type hostage in the search bar at par cast. We are grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network? This is our second episode of one of Hong. Kong's most notorious gangsters Cheung Kong and ransom kidnappings he committed in nineteen ninety six and nineteen ninety-seven last week. We discussed chauncey early life. And how his obsession with wealth led him to commit to ransom kidnappings as part of a master plan to extort the ten wealthiest men in Hong Kong? His first target was thirty one year old. Victor Lee the son of Hong Kong's wealthiest man Li ka-shing this week we'll delve into the fallout of lease kidnapping. And how it inspired Chung to go after the forty seven year old property development tycoon. Walter Kwok will also discuss. How an unexpected cooperation? Between Hong Kong and mainland China ultimately led to Chung's demise when sixty eight year old billionaire Li ka-shing into his front door on the night of May Twenty Third Nineteen Ninety six. He was expecting to see his son. Victor apologized for being so late instead. He found himself face to face with the infamous criminal. Forty-one-year-old chauncey calm and four other armed. Men Leave recognized Chung immediately. He was wanted by the police for multiple crimes including two high profile robberies at the Kai. Tak Airport the second of which had been the largest cash robbery in Hong Kong's history. There was hardly a person in Hong Kong. Who didn't know Chung secons name as Hong Kong's wealthiest Man Lee knew? It was no coincidence that the thief had chosen his front door to knock on but nothing could have prepared him for what Chong was about to say. The criminal informed Lee that he had captured his son. Victor and if Lee ever wanted to see him again he would have to pay two billion Hong Kong dollars now. We was stunned. He asked where they had taken. Victor but Chong shook his head and repeated the demand. Two billion dollars or victor was dead. Shaking Lee tried to assess how he could gather the money he knew as well as Chong that if anyone could access billions of dollars at a moment's notice it was him his company. Cheung Kong Industries had made him a multi-billionaire and victor was in line for the throne but Lee wasn't worried about the money or his company. He just wanted his son back on your shortland. A professor in political economy assesses that in kidnapping for ransom cases. The hostage is returned alive about ninety percent of the time on. This is because the kidnapper is usually willing to negotiate in feasible deal can often be reached. Shortland also stresses that when faced with a ransom kidnapper dilemma. One should not immediately give in to the criminals demands. The hostage taker is likely to interpret this as evidence that more money is available and they will continue to up the ransom amount. Instead shortland advises keeping the criminal in the dark about one's financial resources. The captive will typically be released for a fraction of the original demand of course most individuals when faced with a kidnapper. Aren't thinking like rational business people. They're more concerned with the release of their loved. Ones and their minds are racing with worst case scenarios like torture and execution but wittingly or not Li ka-shing did the right thing shaking. He told Chung that he couldn't gather so much money at a moment's notice but he would try to come up with what he could. He certainly didn't give so much money lying about in his home. Leah's Chung if he could go to the bank for a withdrawal but the criminal shook his head this could arale suspicion and possibly alert the authorities when cheeky move on lease part and the whole plan could fall apart Lee understood and said he would do his best but he knew there was no way together that much money from inside the house under the supervision of Chung and his men Lee drained every hiding place and wallet in his home. He tried to come up with enough cash and valuables to satisfy the steep ransom demand. All the while worrying about his poor son finally having exhausted all his immediate resources. Li presented Chung with his loot. He knew it wasn't enough but he hoped Chung would settle for it surely he couldn't be expected together two billion if he wasn't even allowed to go to the bank. Lee watched with dread as the men counted their spoils. They were one billion short. Chung glared at Lea- incredulous. He could hardly believe that. A man as wealthy as Li ka-shing could only cough up half the amount on a smaller scale. Chong himself knew what it meant to be wealthy. His criminal escapades had paid off and his double life was lavish to him. Money was something to gamble with and enjoy and Chong's own home reflected. This opulence but Lee was a different breed. He was shrewd he invested. And he certainly didn't keep two billion dollars lying about his comparatively modest mansion once again. Li explained that he couldn't come up with two billion unless John allowed him to go to the bank and for the first time the criminal considered it he could get away with the full amount. If everything went smoothly but ultimately Chung couldn't risk it. If there was one place he had sworn never to go back to. It was prison. Besides one billion dollars was a lot of money. Five Times the amount he had obtained in his last airport robbery and it was plenty to fund his lavish lifestyle but grudgingly. He agreed to settle for one billion dollars half his original ask. He ordered Li ka-shing to pack up the money for him as Lee placed the cash. In bags he has Chong why he was doing this. Chung replied. I take unconventional steps to get rich. Money is the most important thing in life. But it's only me who can get away with kidnapping tycoons Charleena's men grabbed the bags of cash. Jong delivered a final warning if Lee or victor ever told the police about the kidnapping they would be dead. We nod and watched as the vans sped off into the night. Now all he could do was wait hoping that Chong would hold up his end of the bargain meanwhile victor was locked inside. Chun's hideout just over the border in mainland China. It had only been a few hours since his capture when his captors finally returned they blindfolded Victor and hurried him outside into a van as they drove. Victor imagined the worst. Perhaps they were taking him away to be murdered. His body could be buried somewhere. It would never be found and victor's family would never know why their son had disappeared. It was all too confusing and sickening for victor to come to grips with a few hours later. The van rolled to a stop. The car doors opened in several hands helped victor as he stumbled onto the sidewalk. He felt the crisp night air on his skin has one of his captors began untying his blindfold as it fell away. Victor recognized his surroundings. He was standing in the driveway of his father's house. In deep water. Bay Hong Kong Victor was bewildered. Was He being released? Was his family going to be harmed. He turned around and for the first time. Locked eyes with his captor the infamous Chunky Kong as victor stared at Chung. He could hardly register who this person was and what they wanted but before he could make sense of the situation. Chong stepped forward. He grabbed victor's face leaned in and planted a kiss on his forehead. Then he told victor he had been a good boy and he promised never to harm him or his family again back in his hideout. Chon divided the spoils amongst his comrades keeping forty percent for himself. He was happy that it pulled off. Such a new and brave stunt it was proof to Chung that. His master plan was feasible if he could kidnap the son of the wealthiest man in China and get away with it then he could kidnap anyone especially the rest of China's tycoons and he had stuck to his personal motto never to physically harm someone unless absolutely necessary. It wouldn't be long before he made his next move coming up. Chunky Kong targets his next victim. Podcast listeners you enjoy stories about crime. Mystery and the unexplained. You'll absolutely love the new podcast original series supernatural with Ashley Flowers. It's hosted by Crime Junkies Ashley. Flowers and you can hear new episodes every Wednesday. A most mysteries can be solved by looking at the facts but sometimes the facts don't lead to a logical explanation and the truth lies somewhere in the unknown in supernatural with Ashley. Flowers actually takes a deep dive into the strange and surreal to explain some of the world's most bizarre true crime occurrences each week. She'll dig into a different crime or mystery where the most fitting theory isn't always the most conventional from exorcisms to unsolved murders to alien abductions. Ashley will take on. The tails challenged the unexplained anti-sect check the facts with a heavy helping of skepticism and rationale. So are you ready to get to the bottom of history's most peculiar events? Follow supernatural with Ashley. Flowers free on spotify. Or wherever you get your podcasts. Now back to the story in nineteen ninety six forty one year old gangster Chung Tikan completed phase one of his plan to kidnap the ten richest men in Hongkong. He had successfully captured thirty one year. Old Victor Li and victor's father sixty eight year old multi-billionaire Li ka-shing had paid one billion Hong Kong dollars for his son's release. It was the largest ransom in Hong Kong history. One billion dollars would have lasted many people a lifetime but Chung wasn't the average person he was addicted to gambling and unbridled spending. Wouldn't be long before he needed more cash but first he had to wait and make sure the police weren't after him for Victor's kidnapping. This could raise publicity. Putting Hong Kong's other wealthy citizens on Edge Chung decided to bide his time yet as he dipped into his new money. He couldn't help. But think of Li ka-shing here was Hong Kong's richest man and even he didn't spend money the way that Chung did instead Lee saved and invested it. Perhaps this was the secret to his enormous wealth. Chong mold is over and gradually. A new idea occurred to him. He would ask Li ka-shing himself. It had been weeks since the kidnapping and both Li ka-shing and Victor Li had returned to work at their family's company Cheung Kong Industries. They were eager to move on with their lives. Neither had approached the police for fear of inciting revenge. They were simply thankful. The ordeal was over and hopeful that John would stick to his promise. Never to bother them again. But Chung had other ideas when Li ka-shing answered his phone one evening he couldn't believe his ears. Cheung Kong was on the other end Lee stomach filled with dread as he thought of his other son. Victor's brother Richard But Chong quickly reassured Lee that he was asking about a simple business matter. He wanted advice on finances specifically what he should do to grow his one billion dollars should he invest his new money in stocks or did Lee recommend real estate. Lee was flabbergasted. How dare song ask him what to do with his money? He told Chung that he only had one piece of advice. Take the money and start an honorable life. Leave him and his family alone. Chogm considered this possibility. Perhaps he could take his wife. Luo Yin Yang and relocate to somewhere. He had no reputation. He could have a fresh start. And maybe even build a business likely ka-shing's empire Cheung Kong Industries but Chung didn't have the tenacity to do it. His gambling addiction his tastes for luxury and his greed were too powerful. Besides the only trade Chung had ever known was that of being a criminal he doubted he could ever succeed at anything else. At least not with the kind of luck he was used to and so after a year of waiting to make sure the police weren't onto him. John was confident that the time was right. He's zeroed in on his next target. Forty-seven-year-old property developer. Walter Kwok in nineteen ninety-seven Walter. Kwok was in the prime of his life. He was part of one of the wealthiest families in Hong Kong and he and his brothers ran their late. Father's company Sung Hung Kai properties. They were responsible for some of Hong. Kong's most famous commercial buildings and large apartment complexes Walter was the company's chairman and chief executive he was capable and quick thinking a born leader and if there is one thing he knew best. It was to negotiate. Walter was an expert at honing deals for his family's company and he knew that nothing was ever worth as much as the original asking price but he had no idea that these skills which soon come into play as September nineteen ninety-seven approached Chung. Tea Calm had settled on Walter as his target. He knew Walter Schedule Front back where he lived and what kind of car he drove. Finally he was ready to make his move on the evening of September. Twenty Ninth Nineteen ninety-seven. Walter was on his way home when Chun and his men cornered his limousine and forced Walter outside they blindfolded Walter bound his arms and legs and wrestled him into their waiting Van. Walter kicked and yelled but it was no use. He was at the mercy of ruthless criminals. Now inside the van Walter was disoriented an anxious. Who were these men? And what did they have against him? It wouldn't be long before he found out a few hours later. The car came to a stop. The men jumped out dragging their terrified captive with them the unbound Walter's limbs and untied his blindfold before shoving him inside a small wooden crate. Walter was terrified. He tried to steady his breath and focus on the small noises around him. An hour passed and the crate finally reopened one of the men handed Walter a bowl of roast pork and rice but Walter shook his head. The man urged him to eat and shut the door. Walter Obediently Chewed Food. But he could barely taste it. His mind was racing with possibilities. Food meant that he was being kept alive but this could also mean he would be here a long time. His thoughts were interrupted as the door to his crate opened again. It was Chung Secon Jong Thrust prepaid phone into Walter's trembling hands in demanded that he call his family. Walter slowly shook his head. There was no way he was getting his family involved. The kidnappers could have him but he would not put his brothers his wife Wendy or their three children in harm's way but Chung remained firm. He demanded that Walter call his wife and request one billion dollars in ransom money. The same amount he had received from Li ka-shing to Chun. This was a reasonable request for someone as wealthy as Walter. If Li ka-shing could access one billion dollars at a moment's notice his family could certainly do whatever it took to gather the same amount but walters mind was made up under no circumstances. Was he about to involve his family. Besides if there was one thing Walter understood it was a negotiation especially when money was involved. He defiantly handed the phone back to Chung. He said that a Chung wanted to negotiate. They could do it here. One on one Sean was astonished. No one not even his own comrades ever dared to defy him yet hear was Walter Kwok a defenseless captive refusing to comply with an order furious. Chung ordered his men to beat up. Walter they descended upon the billionaire punching and kicking him psychologist anger. Management Specialist Bernard Golden. Phd explains that control. Tactics often stem from feelings of being slighted. He says they may attempt to control you in reaction to an intense sense of slight they experience when your thoughts feelings behavior don't exactly aligned with how they believe you should be in the case of Chung. He had an idea of how Walter's kidnapping was supposed to go. And how compliant Walter was going to be and when this didn't happen. He resorted to the only means. He had left to assert his control violence. He had a long standing belief that violence should be a last resort and in his. Is this situation. Called for brute. Force after several minutes of this savage beating Walter was bruised and coughing up blood now. John was confident that his captive would give in. But Walter still refused to make the call. Chung glared at Walter. He was determined to get his money. No matter how nasty things got he would simply come back tomorrow. On September thirtieth twenty four hours after Walter's kidnapping Chunky Kong was confident. That is hostage would reconsider the offer to call his family and asked for the ransom. But when Chung Open Walters crate that morning. Their captive was no more willing to call his family than he had been yesterday. In fact Walter was sure that by now his family would be looking for him. His wife would be wondering why he hadn't come home yet and his brother would expect him at work. One of Chung's men gave him another bowl of pork and rice. Which Walter Willingly Eight? He knew he had to stay. Strong Wind Walter was finished. Eating Chon handed him the phone once more and again Walter refuse to call his family. Chung gave the signal and his men descended on Walter once more. They beat him mercilessly until he nearly blacked out. But Walter was resolute either. Chung dealt with him or nothing. This vicious cycle continued for one more day by the end. Walter could barely eat. His breathing was labored and his body was crumpled from pain and so on October. Third Nineteen ninety-seven. His fourth day in captivity. Walter finally asked for the phone trembling. He called his wife Wendy. When Wendy answered she was beside herself with relief she hadn't heard from her husband for days and no one knew where he was. But Walter's voice was not reassuring he sounded hurt and out of breath speaking was taking every last ounce of his strength and Wendy could tell something was deeply wrong at this point. Walter had given up all hope on a negotiation. He simply wanted to go home alive. He told Wendy that she needed to put together. One billion dollars for the ransom up next the police close in on Chung Secon now back to the story on September Twenty Ninth Nineteen Ninety seven forty two year old Hong Kong criminal Chunky Kong kidnapped forty seven year. Old Property tycoon. Walter Kwok and transported him over the border to a hideout in China at first wall to refuse to call this family to obtain the one billion Hong Kong dollars ransom money that is capture was demanding but after four days of merciless beatings. He finally gave in and called his wife. Wendi it remains unclear whether Walters family had yet gone to the police about their brother's disappearance but at this point they knew that their brothers safety depended on keeping the negotiations a secret. Finally Chong and Walter arranged a secret meeting between his mother Kwan. Chow Ching in one of his brothers in downtown Hong Kong's financial district. They met at one of the luxury apartments owned by. Walter's family there Kwong Xiaojing and her son worked out a final ransom amount with Cheung six hundred million Hong Kong dollars when the meeting had finished. The ransom amount was placed into twenty large duffle bags in transported by two. Mercedes to a quiet street in the financial district. Joan and his accomplices met the cars and drove away with the cash. Walter's family could only hope that Chung would make good on his end of the bargain on October. Sixth Chong and his men transported Walter over the border back into Hong Kong. His family found him inside a local village house packed inside his wooden crate. Chung's partying warning to both Walter and his family was that they should never speak to the police or media about the incident unless they wanted. More trouble Chung's second kidnapping had been more difficult than the first but it had still panned out. He had sufficiently intimidated. A billion dollar family and their company into quietly seating hundreds of millions of dollars without alerting. The police and he was more confident than ever that he could continue his plan to kidnap the ten wealthiest men in Hong Kong. He would do the same thing as he had done following Victor Lease Kidnapping in Nineteen ninety-six way to make sure no one was onto him before going after his next target but a plan for his capture was taking form in the months following. Chun's second contact with Lee Shing. The multi-billionaire used his connections to quietly reach out to Hong Kong police urging them to pursue Chong. The police informed Lee that well. Chung was on their radar. He would be extremely difficult to track down. Like many of Hong Kong's criminals. He made use of the proximity of China to hide out. In between crimes beginning in nineteen ninety seven Hong Kong was fully reabsorbed into China following. Its one hundred year lease to Britain but two decades before with Hong Kong and China had settled on a firm one country two systems policy. This meant that while Hong Kong was freshly incorporated as a territory of China it retained its own legal system and as long as Cheung Kong was hiding out in China Hong Kong authorities could not pursue him. Li ka-shing was well aware of this barrier but he nonetheless used his status urged. The police to concentrate on Chong's capture. Finally he told About his son's kidnapping this changed everything. A one billion dollar ransom kidnapping was plenty of reason to go after Chung earnestly. The police understood with this could mean for the rest of Hong Kong's upper class so far no criminal had attempted this kind of feet in Hong Kong and Chung could not be allowed to continue even as Walter. Kwok's kidnapping was happening. The police were already at work trying to flush Chong from his hiding place. In China they targeted known members of Hong Kong's triad gangs networked which Chung loosely belonged. Police track down members both in and out of prison harassing them into dispelling information but the Chhaya ad was a loyal tight knit brotherhood and asking someone to turn on. Fellow member was difficult. Meanwhile Chong was living the high life with his ransom money. He was gambling millions at a time and had even taken his wife and children on a vacation to Johannesburg South Africa but his crimes were also continuing as Walter. Kwok's kidnapping secretly unfolded in Nineteen ninety-seven. The police were already in hot pursuit and finally his kidnapping attempts blown wide open following the arrest of one of his oldest friends and associates yet. Kifune Chong attempted his third kidnapping that of Hong Kong's Chief Secretary for Administration Anson Chan but this failed miserably then in January of Nineteen Ninety. Eight police uncovered eight hundred kilograms of explosives planted at several of Hong Kong's government buildings. They traced it back to John. This was perhaps Chung's most serious crime and the police were now offering bribes and reduced sentences for Cooperative Triad Gang members. Eventually a few came forward in a rare collaboration with the Chinese police the authorities were finally able to close in on Chauncey Kung's hideout in China in August of Nineteen Ninety eight. They arrested him on multiple charges including kidnapping robbery and possession of explosives. Still Chong was hopeful. As a Hong Kong criminal he fully expected to be transported across the border from China for a trial in Hong Kong. Moreover Hong Kong did not utilize capital punishment whereas China did if a person committed a crime in Hong Kong but was arrested in mainland China or vice versa. They would typically be extradited to the appropriate side of the border and tried and punished there as the majority of Chunky Kung's offenses were committed in Hong Kong. It was to be assumed that Chung be tried there however in a very controversial move. Hong Kong and Chinese court sidestepped the One Country. Two Systems Policy and decided that Chung could be tried in Guangzhou China. This had never been done before people. In Hong Kong were particularly shocked they valued their justice system as being more fair than China besides Chung was essentially their criminal. The bulk of his crimes had been perpetrated against Hong Kong citizens. One particularly furious onlooker was Gladys Li the former chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association. She speculated that under such changes a Hong konger could potentially be arrested in China for something perfectly legal in Hong Kong but you're legal in mainland China and therefore face persecution. She felt Chong's case could spell this sort of disaster for Hong Kong citizens as she feared for Hong Kong's economy lawyer Ivan Tang echoed these concerns citing that the failure to extradite. Chong to Hong Kong was also the death of Hong Kong's One Country Two Systems agreement with China even as the details of the kidnappings remained largely private. Chung's case became an overnight sensation. Hongkongers were coming out to protest the trial of Cheung Kong on the basis of their own liberty. No one questioned chunks guilt or that he should be brought to but the blatant sidestepping of one country two systems made them angry who meanwhile in prison John continued to play the part of a high rolling gangster in spite of his legal situation. He relish the attention and his infamy the tales of his gambling exploits were known both inside and outside the prison giving him a sense of pride he becomes somewhat of a folk hero to many people and he wanted them to remember the legacy of big spender by the time. Chauncey trial began on October. Eighth Nineteen Ninety Eight. He had exhausted all of appeals. There was no hope of extradition to Hong Kong from the First Day Chung Z. Kong knew there was little hope of ever again being a free man in a surprising move. He made a full confession on that first day of the proceedings. No more big spender bravado. It was all over now. Hong Kong citizens might have been mad but the world believed he was guilty as he sat in the Guangzhou courtroom John and his lawyer stated repeatedly that his crimes were committed in Hong Kong in a last ditch effort to have him extradited and to avoid the death penalty. There protests fell on deaf ears. Chung was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to on December Fifth Nineteen Ninety Eight. The forty three year old criminal was led out of his prison cell and out into the middle of an empty field. They're a firing squad was waiting for him. He bowed his head and said one. Final prayer then he died. Jong was now dead but to victims still had to move on with their lives. Robert T muller a professor of psychology reports that no matter how long they're held hostage most kidnapping victims deal with some sort of emotional aftermath. They may feel depressed have vivid nightmares and flashbacks and often become hyper vigilant and very aware of their surroundings. Both Victor Li and Walter Kwok displayed these effects following his kidnapping. Victor continue to wrong Cheung Kong industries and expand his father's company into several new areas including telecommunications retail imports. He is now married with children. Those closest to victor however claim that he is still very suspicious of strangers and has a general around people after the incident. He employed a personal security team and he's rarely seen in public without them. Other victim Walter. Kwok suffered silently for many years not wanting to come forward or seek help for depression and lingering trauma ultimately affected his family's business where he had been the top leader Walter's brother Raymond told reporters that after the kidnapping Walter was unable to fulfil his duties. As Chairman of Sung Hung Kai properties. He was suspicious of strangers and overly conscious of how other people were treating him by two thousand eight. He was asked to step down from Sung. I but Walter did find success in his future. After leaving his family's company he went on to found his own successful development company until his death in two thousand eighteen. Thanks again for tuning into hostage and we'll be back next week with another episode. You can find more episodes of hostage and all other podcasts. For Free on spotify not only spotify already. Have all of your favorite music now? Spotify is making easy for you to enjoy. All of your favorite podcast originals. Like hostage for free from your phone. Desktop or smart speaker to stream hostage on spotify. Just open the APP and type hostage in the search bar and don't forget to follow us on facebook and Instagram at Park East. In twitter at podcast network. We'll see you next time. In the meantime don't take your freedom for granted hostage was created by Max Cutler. And his a par cast studios original executive producers include Maxon Ron Cutler sound designed by Russell Nash With Production Assistance by Ron Shapiro Carleen Madden Isabel. Away in Paul Moller. This episode of hostage was written by Kathleen Chrysler with writing assistance by Kate. Gallagher and stars Irma Blanco and Carter Roy Hi Listeners don't forget to check out the new podcast original series supernatural with Ashley Flowers every Wednesday. Take a deep dive into the strange and surreal to find the truth behind the world's most bizarre crimes. Trust me these episodes are weird and wonderful search for supernatural with Ashley Flowers in the spotify APP and listen free today.