One of the most lurid Hong Kong crime cases in years is expected to wind up this week, wrapping up a tale of gambling, sex and murder that has gripped this gossip-obsessed city.
The case revolves around late police constable Tsui Po-ko (
The 35-year-old Tsui, killed in a shootout with colleagues last year, is suspected in the deaths of three policemen and a bank security guard over a five-year span beginning in 2001.
The inquest into those deaths brought more than 100 witnesses to the stand in the case of Tsui, an intelligent officer who earned top honors at police school and won thousands of dollars testing his knowledge on a TV game show.
But the coroner's court hearing also found Tsui lived a secret life of prostitutes, heavy gambling and some HK$3 million (US$385,000) in assets and secret investments that had never been revealed to his wife.
He reportedly went down the wrong path after failing to win a promotion at work during 13 years on the force, in part because he was seen as having an outsized ego.
"The case has all the elements of a movie -- violence, murdering work colleagues. It is unraveling like a film," said City University lecturer Ho Chi-on (何志安). "That's why it has attracted so much attention."
The deaths of the policemen and security guard were unsolved when Tsui was killed in March last year -- and his dead body was found lying on top of a weapon believed to have been used in at least two of the shootings.
Tsui was then posthumously named as a suspect in the killing of police officer Leung Shing-yan (梁成恩), who was shot dead after answering a bogus noise complaint in March 2001. Leung's gun was subsequently stolen.
That same weapon, the one found under Tsui's dead body, was used to gun down a Pakistani security guard, Zafar Iqbal Khan, during a bank heist nine months later.
Police investigations suggested the killings were done by the same person, a policeman or ex-policeman. Tsui, described as a sharp shooter, was suspected based on similarities to an image captured on videotape at the bank.
Police then found that Tsui had 19 personal banking and investment accounts hidden from his wife, and owned assets worth about HK$3 million.
The accounts included one cash deposit of HK$557,000 in cash, almost the exact amount taken in the bank robbery.
In March last year, Tsui allegedly ambushed two colleagues in an underpass in the city's busy tourist strip in a shootout that left patrolman Tsang Kwok-hang (曾國衡) dead and another, Sin Ka-keung, critically wounded.
Coroner Michael Chan (陳碧橋) began summing up the evidence on Monday, and a verdict is expected within days.