Tycoon Li Ka-Shing, the richest businessman in Asia, revealed how his eldest son was kidnapped for ransom by a Hong Kong gangster. The gangster called Cheung Tze-Keung was notorious during the 90s. He brazenly turned up at their home and kidnapped Li’s son in 1996. At the time Li blamed himself for being a high profile individual without employing security. As a result, he didn’t file any sort of police report, choosing to take on the gangster himself.
The gangster asked for a HK$2 billion ransom for the safe return of Li’s son. In the end, Li only had enough cash on hand to pay HK$1 billion which the gangster accepted. Li remembers telling the gangster you have enough money to spend the rest of your life relaxing. He even recommended that Cheung fly away quickly and choose a new path in life.
Cheung was armed with two AK-47s and had several accomplices, abducted Victor Li as he was walking home from the family’s central offices. As Li paid up so quickly, Victor only spent about one night handcuffed to a chair. But then the craziest thing happened, Cheung rang the billionaire tycoon the following day. Asking for advice on how to invest his newly found wealth.
Li didn’t give him any advice, choosing solely to advise Cheung to become a better man in life. He repeated the same phrases as during the kidnapping: “You have only one path, fly far and high or else your ending will be a sad one…”
Unfortunately for Cheung, he chose to ignore this advice and met his fate in 1998 when caught by the police. Tried for crimes including murder, kidnapping, robbery, and smuggling explosives Cheung was executed in mainland China. Rumors went around the press that Li had struck a deal with the police to catch him, but these rumors were never proven.
It seems Cheung, also known as Big Spender, could never shake off his gambling addictions and most likely lost the million ransom in a bet. Potentially even the same week of the kidnapping!