What we know about the luxury apartment linked to Abby Choi’s murder probe
Hong Kong socialite Abby Choi’s brutal murder was suspected to have been orchestrated by her former father-in-law Kwong Kau due to their dispute over a luxury apartment in the Kandooria housing complex, local media said.
The apartment was bought under Kwong’s name and full payment was made by October 2019. In the same year, he also appeared to have applied to buy a government-subsidized flat under Hong Kong’s Home Ownership Scheme, according to the South China Morning Post.
READ: Police find severed head of Hong Kong socialite Abby Choi in soup pot; suspect’s lover arrested
Here are some details about the luxury apartment that have surfaced in local media reports.
1. Where is it?
The luxury apartment is at Kadoorie Hill in Kowloon Tong.
Kadoorie Hill is one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious addresses. The neighborhood is known to be home to some of the city’s wealthiest people for generations.
Those who have lived in the area include the late former chairman of the Hong Kong Olympic Academy Arnaldo de Oliveira Sales, the late Hong Kong actor Leslie Cheung and Hong Kong singer-actor Andy Lau.
2. How much is it?
The 1,820 sq ft four-bedroom apartment was reportedly bought for at least HK$70 million in 2019, according to local media. The cost of the apartment includes a HK$3 million stamp duty fee.
The seven-year-old apartment was listed for sale with an asking price of around HK$67 million on Midland Realty portal.
3. Who owns it?
The sales contract for the apartment was reportedly signed by Kwong, making him the legal owner of the property.
But according to local media, it was Ms Choi who bought the unit and made the full payment by October 2019. She was said to have done so to save more than HK$7 million in stamp duty.
Her decision to sell the property in recent months reportedly upset Kwong.
Legal experts interviewed by local media said Ms Choi could claim the sales proceeds if she had proof of purchase and if Kwong was recognized as holding the property in trust for her.
4. Who lives in it?
The apartment, which has a posh interior, was reportedly occupied by the Kwong family. Ms Choi’s two children with her former husband Alex Kwong also lived there.
In December 2020, Alex’s elder brother Anthony shared a picture of his first meal at the apartment on his social media account.
The elder Kwong and his two sons were charged over the murder of Ms Choi on Monday. His wife Jenny Li was charged with perverting the course of justice.
A fifth suspect, reportedly the elder Kwong’s lover, is assisting police with investigations.
5. More than one property
Besides the luxury apartment, the elder Kwong also owns a 291 sq ft government-subsidized flat at Sheung Man Court in Kwai Chung.
This development was opened for applications in May 2019 and applicants selected from a ballot were allowed to buy flats in November that year.
Hong Kong families with a maximum gross monthly income of HK$66,000 and assets of up to HK$1.85 million, or one-person households earning half the monthly amount, are eligible to buy such subsidized flats under the city’s Home Ownership Scheme.
The elder Kwong reportedly bought the subsidized flat for about HK$2.2 million.
There have been questions over how the elder Kwong was able to own the luxury flat and government-subsidized flat at the same time.
The authorities are investigating the matter, according to local media.
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