Hong Kong-to-Macao ferry hijacked
Macao, June 13 - Bandits hijacked a ferry traveling from Macao to Hong Kong shortly after noon Tuesday, fleeing with $1.3 million that was being transported from several banks in the Portuguese-run gambling mecca. Up to five bandits, at least one brandishing a handgun, took three boxes containing the $1.3 million, despite the presence of three security guards, according to police and witness reports. The thieves fired one shot, but none of the 129 passengers or eight crewmen on the jetfoil owned by Far East Hydrofoil Co. Ltd. was injured. None of the passengers or crew was robbed. The hijacking started abruptly near Lantau Island in Hong Kong's New Territories. 'About three gangsters suddenly got up from their seats, telling us to remain in our seats,' said one of the passengers in an interview after the jetfoil had returned to Macao. The man, a Macao resident, declined to give his name. The gangsters fired at least one shot, he said, 'to intimidate us.' Another witness, who also asked not to be identified, said there were five robbers, all in their twenties and one wearing a mask. The jetfoil's captain, Chao Man-wai, 34, said two men brandishing handguns forced their way from into the bridge. At the time the ship was near Guishan Island near the Chinese city of Zhuhai on the way to Hong Kong, which is about 40 miles east of Macau. Just after the ship entered Hong Kong waters, the two robbers told Chao they had a bomb.
'They told me to change course to Qiao Island (near Zhuhai),' Chao said, adding that he had heard two shots. When the jetfoil reached Qiao Island 16 miles north of Macao in the Pearl River estuary, two accomplices were waiting in a speedboat. The gang fled in the speedboat. 'This was a very well-prepared hijacking, certainly based on insider information about those cash boxes being transported by that particular jetfoil to Hong Kong,' said a Macao police source. It was the first hijacking of a jetfoil on the busy Hong Kong-to- Macao route. There are usually no security guards on board and passengers boarding in either Macao or Hong Kong are usually not checked for weapons. Macao Marine and Customs Police are investigating the crime along with authorities from Zhuhai and Hong Kong. Hong Kong police are in charge because the hijacking happened in Hong Kong waters.
in UPI Archives
1995 June 13 9:00 AM, Macau China Bank's security van was secured by security guard with guns to the piers of Macau. At the same time, 3 unidentified Chinese male secretly followed the guards onto Hong Kong hydrofoil East Star leaving at 11:30 AM. At 11:52 AM, the three received the signal from the boss and immediately hijacked the craft to Wan Oh Island, meeting with a mid sized craft and escaped with HK$ 10,000,000 from Macau China Bank.
1995, 13 de Junho: às 9h da manhã a carrinha de segurança da sucursal de Macau do Banco da China dirige-se para o terminal marítimo do Porto Exterior. Ao mesmo tempo, três chineses perseguem secretamente a carrinha até ao jetfoil que partia às 11h30 rumo a Hong Kong. Às 11h52, os três sequestram o jetfoil e desviam a rota para a Ilha Wan Oh e escapam com 10 milhões de dólares de HK.
Notícia da Associated Press:
Passenger Ferry Hijacked to China, Robbed and Released
Macao (AP) june 13, 1995 - Armed robbers hijacked a passenger ferry into Chinese waters today and fled in waiting speedboats, reportedly with more than $1.3 million that had been destined for a Hong Kong bank.
The hydrofoil Guia was carrying 137 passengers and eight crewmembers from the Portuguese colony of Macao to neighboring Hong Kong when it was commandeered, the Hong Kong Marine Department said.
About 20 minutes into the one-hour voyage, several passengers drew guns and fired a warning shot, passengers said. The robbers then forced the vessel to sail up the Pearl River estuary to the Chinese island of Kee O, where the speedboats were waiting.
Hong Kong radio said the robbers took the equivalent of more than $1.3 million in Hong Kong dollars being brought to a bank in the British colony. Sources in Macao, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the money came from the Macao branch of the Beijing-controlled Bank of China and was being carried by security guards.
After the robbers fled, the ferry returned safely to Macao, its passengers unharmed.
Um ano depois do sucedido estreou um filme chinês sobre este roubo no valor de 10 milhões de dólares de Hong Kong da sucursal de Macau do Banco da China que eram transportados para a colónia britânica por jetfoil: 東星號大劫案/The Great Jet Foil Robbery.
O cérebro do assalto, Wu-Shu Cheong, então investigador da Polícia Judiciária, concebeu um plano para assaltar o jetfoil (jacto-planador) Guia em alto mar. Viria a ser condenado e preso. Detido na cadeia do Funchal suicidou-se em Setembro de 2000.
O assalto seria feito cerca de 20 minutos após o jetfol sair de Macau. Os cúmplices e intervenientes no assalto - Chan, Chao e Cheong - que tinham entrado no território ilegalmente, compraram bilhetes para todas as carreiras com saída da parte da manhã. Entraram no jet-foil das 11h30, a mando de Wu, que estava a controlar a chegada da carrinha de transporte de valores da Guardforce.
A bordo do Guia seguiam 137 passageiros e oito tripulantes. Receberam ordens para se manterem imobilizados, na sequência de três disparos contra a porta da cabine do comandante do barco. Enquanto roubavam os dez milhões de dólares de Hong Kong do Banco da China, os três homens mandaram o comandante desviar o jetfoil para a ilha “Quiu Ou”, na RPC. Era lá que estava a lancha e mais dois assaltantes: Chan e Leong Peng Chio. Os cinco fugiram com o dinheiro, que acabou por ser recuperado quase na totalidade.
Do grupo de assaltantes, três foram julgados na China sendo um condenado à pena de morte. Em Macau, pelos mesmos factos, os cinco arguidos foram julgados à revelia e condenados em 1997 a 18 anos e seis meses de prisão, pelos crimes de pirataria e de roubo.