Hong Kong police hunt kidnap gang that fled with $3.6-mln ransom

HONG KONG, April 29 (Reuters) - Hong Kong police on Wednesday launched a city-wide hunt for a gang that made off with a ransom of HK$28 million ($3.6 million) paid by the family of a 29-year-old kidnap victim.

In a statement, police said the gang of six escaped in a white car after kidnapping the unidentified woman and stealing items valued at HK$2 million from her home in the New Territories of the former British colony.

The woman was later released unharmed.

Police identified four of the suspects as Chinese nationals, but there were no details of the other two.

Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997, has seen several dramatic kidnappings.

In a high-profile case in the 1990s, Victor Li, the son of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, was kidnapped by notorious Chinese ganster Cheung Tze-keung, also known as "Big Spender".

Media reported he was seized at gunpoint between his office and home, handcuffed, blindfolded, held overnight and then released on payment of a ransom.

Cheung also kidnapped Hong Kong property tycoon Walter Kwok in 1997, holding him for six days before payment of a ransom of HK$600 million. Cheung was executed a year later by firing squad. ($1=7.7497 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by James Zhang; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Clarence Fernandez)

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