Hong Kong cash spill: 3rd person arrested; total sum that fell out of van revealed to be $8.97m

Hong Kong police have arrested a third person in the Gloucester Road cash spill case. --PHOTO: HONGKONG.COCONUTS.CO
Hong Kong police have arrested a third person in the Gloucester Road cash spill case. --PHOTO: HONGKONG.COCONUTS.CO

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong police have arrested a third person involved in a money-snatching spree on Gloucester Road in Wan Chai after HK$15.23 million (S$2.6 million) in cash that had spilled out of a money transport van was taken by quick-moving passers-by on Wednesday afternoon, reported the local media.

The man, 23, was taken into custody at his apartment in Ap Lei Chau district, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), and held overnight. The police also searched his home and seized a number of items.

And the police revealed that a total of HK$52.5 million (S$8.97 million) in total had fallen out of the van, contained in three boxes that had HK$17.5 million each in HK$500 bills, reported SCMP.

HK$15.23 million had disappeared before the police arrived.

About HK$9 million is still missing, the paper said.

On Friday, a 43-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman were arrested for allegedly keeping more than HK$160,000 of the bank notes, said a police spokesman.

According to the Apple Daily, the duo, who were passers-by in a taxi, were tracked down with tip-offs from another cab driver who picked them up after they did their snatching.

According to SCMP, so far 38 people have returned the money, amounting to a total of HK$6.3 million.

The money was being transported by British multinational security services company G4S for the Bank of China (BOC). It was headed to the G4S head office in Cheung Sha Wan, and had HK$500 and HK$1,000 notes worth HK$270 million in 30 plastic boxes, reported the SCMP.

There were four staff members on board, the driver and three other escorts. All were sitting at the front and none discovered that the van's door had slipped ajar.

According to the Apple Daily, they told the police they realised the back door was open only after driving on for a while.

They got out to lock the door but did not notice that three crates, out of the 30 in the van, had disappeared until they reached their destination, a half-hour's drive away from Gloucester Road, the daily reported, quoting the four, who have been suspended by GS4.

Investigations showed that the lock of the left back door had gone loose but there was no sign of the door being pried, said the Apple Daily.

BOC on Thursday urged G4S to investigate the incident and said the company was liable for the lost money.

G4S had apologised to BOC and the public for "any inconvenience or embarrassment which it may have caused".

"G4S is currently in full collaboration with Hong Kong Police for its investigation into the incident," the company also said.

"We will also be handling the loss with BOCHK according to the contractual agreement and in line with the process required by our insurance."

The police again urged those who picked up the cash to return it.