Three men, who allegedly murdered a man and encased his body in concrete, were acting out of greed, a court heard yesterday, as the trio’s trial got underway at the High Court.
In his opening speech, prosecutor Richard Turnbull said the trio — Tsang Cheung-yan, 28, Keith Lau, 23, and Cheung Sin-hang, 25 — had plotted to kill 28-year-old Cheung Man-li after the victim demanded the payment of a HK$5 million (US$637,000) debt, according to outlets covering the case.
Apple Daily reported that the gruesome 2016 murder took place in a unit at an industrial building in Tseun Wan where the defendants lived.
According to RTHK, the prosecution witness, Ho-Ling-yu, who also lives at the building, gave evidence that Tsang and Lau brought the victim to the unit and an argument ensued, after which she heard the pair saying Cheung, known as “Ah J,” was dead.
Turnbull, according to the SCMP, told the court the trio had covered the victim’s mouth with ladies panties soaked with chloroform, before injecting him with alcohol.
They then buried his body in cement, a technique defendant Cheung Sin-hang had learned from the internet.
After leaving then returning to the flat, Ho, the prosecution witness, found a concrete block sitting in the middle of the room and that the temperature was now “exceptionally cold,” the court heard, according to RTHK.
Tsang allegedly turned up the air-conditioning, saying it would help the concrete dry faster.
The plan backfired, however, when the concrete block proved too heavy to move from the unit. This forced the trio to break the corpse into pieces, though they could still not get it out of the flat, Turnbull alleged, according to the SCMP.
After failing to get rid of the body, the trio simply left it in the apartment and fled to Taiwan, along with Ho, who feared she would be made liable for Cheung Man-li’s death.
According to the reports, Ho alleged that the three men had earlier talked about killing the victim at the Kwun Tong Ferry Pier or on Lantau.
It was also alleged that Tsang had told others they would be awarded HK$30 million by an international criminal gang if they killed Cheung.
The trio, who are charged conspiracy to murder, have all pleaded guilty to one joint count of preventing the lawful burial of Cheung Man-li’s body.
The trial continues today.