The Big Spender: Kidnapping Li Ka Shing’s Son for a Hong Kong$138B Ransom

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Written By Henry Dalziel

I've been living and working in Hong Kong since 2016 as an SEO Professional.

In 1996, a Hong Kong mobster known as ‘The Big Spender’ was successful in kidnapping the son of Li Ka Shing, who at the time was the richest man in Asia. After thereafter, a ransom payment in the amount of HK$1.38 billion, which is approximately US$180 million, was made to him.The Big Spender had already been involved in high-profile criminal activity, so this was not his first time in the spotlight. In point of fact, he had a lengthy history of involvement in illegal enterprises, beginning with his time spent as a member of the infamous ‘Triads’ gang.However, it was his participation in the kidnapping of Li Ka Shing’s son that truly catapulted him into the public consciousness and made him a name that everyone knew. The amount of money he was paid in ransom was the most that had ever been paid in the history of Hong Kong, and it made him one of the wealthiest men in the city.The Big Spender continued his life of crime despite the sudden fortune that came into his possession. In the year 2000, he was found guilty of money laundering and received a sentence of ten years in jail for his crime. He was freed in 2006, but did not take long to return to his previous behaviour. In 2010, he was taken into custody and charged with operating a gambling business that grossed multiple millions of dollars.The Big Spender is currently serving a prison sentence of 20 years for his crimes. His notoriety, on the other hand, keeps expanding, and now, he is regarded as one of the most notorious criminals in the annals of Hong Kong’s past.
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