The mom and the monster
The matriarch of one of Hong Kong's richest corporate dynasties sat down with the city's most notorious crime bosses and negotiated the payment of a HK$600 million ransom for the release of her eldest son, The Standard has learned.
As a bitter family feud over control of giant developer Sun Hung Kai Properties continues, extraordinary details have emerged about how the man at the center of the current corporate bust-up Walter Kwok Ping-sheung came to be released by gangster Cheung Tze-keung otherwise known as "Big Spender."
Ever since his kidnap in September 1997 rumors have persisted that Walter's younger brothers, Thomas and Raymond, were reluctant to pay the ransom.
But suggestions that a simmering row over the ransom payment is behind today's corporate fall- out which has seen Walter Kwok ousted from the chairmanship of Sun Hung Kai to be replaced by his 79-year-old mother will be dampened by the latest revelations.