The motive for the murder of 28-year-old Hong Kong model Abby Choi, whose dismembered corpse was found in recent days, may have been a dispute with her ex-husband’s family over a luxury apartment worth about 70 million Hong Kong dollars, local media reported.
Hong Kong police officers returned to Hong Kong’s rural Tai Po district on Wednesday in search of new evidence in a shocking case, the South China Morning Post reported. Her ex-husband, his father and brother have been charged with the gruesome murder of a 28-year-old woman.
Last week in the refrigerator of one of the houses in Tai Po Choi’s severed limbs were found. There were also a slicer, an electric saw and other tools. Police later found the model’s head and other body parts in the cauldron. The search for the murdered torso and hand is underway.
Hong Kong residents were shocked to learn that the perpetrators of the crime were likely trying to dispose of the body using a traditional Cantonese recipe for long-cooked soup, Bloomberg reported.
The apartment may have been the center of a dispute
According to the media, the motive for the crime may have been a dispute over a luxury apartment in the Kadoorie Hill estate in the Kowloon Tong district. One of the most prestigious housing estates in Hong Kong, many members of the local elite lived there, including the late actor Leslie Cheung and singer Andy Lau, described the Singapore newspaper “Straits Times”.
The almost 170-meter apartment formally belonged to the former father-in-law of the murdered woman, Kwong Kaua, a former police officer who, according to “SCMP” sources, is suspected of planning the crime. Media speculates that Choi actually bought the apartment, but added Kwong to the deed to save more than seven million Hong Kong dollars (PLN 3.9 million) in stamp duty.
Bloomberg journalists explained that in Hong Kong, stamp duty on the purchase of the first apartment is at most 4.25 percent of the transaction value, but in the case of the second apartment it rises to 15 percent. At the time of the purchase of the apartment in Kadoorie Hill, the model already had another luxury apartment, so listing her then-father-in-law allowed her to significantly reduce her tax.
However, it seems that the trust she placed in her father-in-law turned out to be disastrous. When Chuoi decided to sell the apartment, her ex-husband’s family did not agree. Lawyers quoted by the local media estimated that the model could sell the apartment if she could prove that she had paid for the property.
Relatives of the model arrested
Her ex-husband, 28-year-old Alex Kwong, was arrested on suspicion of murder on Saturday when police said he was trying to flee Hong Kong on a speedboat. He had half a million Hong Kong dollars in cash and several luxury watches with a total value of 4 million Hong Kong dollars (over PLN 2.5 million in total).
His brother Anthony Kwong and father, who were also charged with murder, were also arrested. The man’s mother, Jenny Li, was charged with obstruction of justice. A fifth suspect, a 47-year-old woman who, according to the media, may have been the lover of the former father-in-law of the murdered woman, was also detained.
Choi came from a wealthy family and had a fortune estimated at over 100 million Hong Kong dollars (almost PLN 57 million), and the media described her as a well-known visitor of Hong Kong salons. She was reported missing on February 21.
As a model, she was last featured on the cover of the January issue of L’Officiel Monaco magazine, where she was described as “a style icon and media personality who has taken the world by storm with her impeccable sense of style and unbridled passion for fashion.” Photos of the 28-year-old also appeared in magazines such as “Vogue”, “Harper’s Bazaar” and “Elle”. She also participated in Paris Fashion Week.
Main photo source: Reuers/Abby Choi via Instagram