Li Ka-shing broke his silence of 17 years to say he never had second thoughts when asked to pay HK$2 billion by the kidnapper of his eldest son Victor Li Tzar-kuoi

What tycoon told gangster who abducted son
Staff reporter
Friday, November 29, 2013
Li Ka-shing broke his silence of 17 years to say he never had second thoughts when asked to pay HK$2 billion by the kidnapper of his eldest son Victor Li Tzar-kuoi. However, Li said he told the gangster “Big Spender” Cheung Tze-keung that he could get his hands on only HK$1 billion immediately and that he would have to go to the bank to get the rest.Li said he also advised Cheung to run away and become a good man as the money would be enough to last him the rest of his life.

Cheung, who went alone to Li’s residence to collect the ransom, abducted Victor Li as he returned from his Central office to his home on Deep Water Bay Road in 1996.

“I have only HK$1 billion in cash and if you want, I can go to the bank to take money for you,” Li told Cheung, according to a mainland newspaper interview.

Asked why he was able to react so calmly, Li said this was because the mistake was his – for not making proper security arrangements.

“We were well-known but I did not make proper security arrangements at the time,” he said. “When I drove to the New Territories to play golf early in the morning, there were a lot of vehicles on the road and I never thought about security.”

Li said despite his advice, Cheung gambled all the money away and called him several months later to seek advice on a safe investment.

“I told him the option was his – to become a good man or to become miserable,” he said.

Cheung was later arrested by the mainland police and executed in 1998.

At the trial in Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court, the most wanted man in Hong Kong admitted he was trying to kidnap any of Li’s family members and ended up taking Victor Li.

Cheung also said Li had given him HK$1.38 billion. He added Li was very polite when he handed over the money and that he had promised not to touch any member of Li’s family again.

Cheung confessed he also kidnapped Sun Hung Kai Properties’ Walter Kwok Ping-sheung in 1997 and was paid HK$600 million after negotiations.

In January 1998, Cheung was captured in Guangdong along with several gang members. His crimes included murder, kidnapping and robbery.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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