Ex-husband of slain HK socialite Abby Choi jailed for more than 3 years over gold theft , Latest World News - The New Paper

Ex-husband of slain HK socialite Abby Choi jailed for more than 3 years over gold theft

The former husband of Hong Kong socialite Abby Choi, whose severed head was found in a soup pot in 2023, was sentenced to a 3½ year prison term on June 19 for theft and jumping bail.

Alex Kwong Kong-chi, 29, is still facing the charge of murdering his former wife.

He was handed a prison sentence after pleading guilty to six charges of theft committed between June 2013 and January 2015, according to a Hong Kong district court’s written judgment.

He also pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to surrender to custody, having jumped bail in 2015 when the original trial was meant to be heard.

He was on the run for more than seven years and was arrested in Hong Kong’s New Territories on Feb 25, 2023, when he had also become a suspect in the murder of Ms Choi, 28.

Kwong’s ruse involved convincing owners of valuable jewellery to hand the ornaments to him with the promise that he would resell them. He became uncontactable after taking the jewellery.

The value of the items he stole was estimated to be HK$6.3 million (S$1.09 million). He has made full restitution to his victims.

Referring to Ms Choi, deputy district court judge David Cheung said in his written judgment that Kwong was married to a housewife when he committed the acts of theft, adding that he is now detained in relation to her killing in 2023.

Kwong’s lawyer said in defence that his client was facing great pressure, which led him to resort to an illegal, get-rich-quick scheme.

He was financially responsible for his brother’s university tuition and living expenses in the US while his father was retired and his bankrupt mother was pursued by creditors, the lawyer said, adding that the accused had two children – a son, now aged 10, and a daughter, aged nine.

Kwong, his brother and father have been charged with Ms Choi’s murder and the case is set to be transferred to Hong Kong’s high court for trial.

His mother is out on bail, having been charged with obstructing justice in relation to evidence tied to the killing.

Parts of Ms Choi’s hacked remains were found in a village house, while her head and parts of her ribs were found inside a large pot, and her legs were discovered inside a freezer in the house.

On June 19, the district court said that Kwong’s original jail term was reduced on account of his guilty plea and that he had made full restitution to his victims.