Two men have been charged with murder after a man’s body was discovered in a shallow grave on a Fanling hillside. Police said they believed that the victim was killed around 10 days ago.

Fanling Magistrates' Courts
Fanling Magistrates’ Courts. File photo: Peter Lee/HKFP.

Chan Wah-hing, 64, and Chan Yiu-lung, 29, appeared in front of Acting Principal Magistrate Colin Wong at Fanling Magistrates’ Courts on Friday afternoon.

The pair stand accused of murdering Cheung Ngai-keung on September 5 at a temple “near Lamppost AD3912, unnamed road junction, Ping Yuen Road, Ta Kwu Ling,” according to the charge sheet.

The court granted the prosecution more time for the police to carry out further investigations and obtain autopsy reports of the deceased.

The defendants did not apply for bail and will remain remanded in custody until their next appearance in court on December 9.

Victim not kidnapped

The body of the 51-year-old victim was found in a shallow grave on a hillside in Ping Yeung Village, Ta Kwu Ling, on Thursday. Initial media reports suggested the man had been kidnapped, but the police said they had not discovered anything to suggest he had actually been abducted.

Speaking to the press on Thursday evening, Senior Superintendent Chan Kong-ming said the police had been investigating the matter since Cheung’s wife reported her husband missing on September 5.

Senior Superintendent Chan Kong-ming
Senior Superintendent Chan Kong-ming spoke to the press on September 15 over a suspected murder case in Fanling. Photo: RTHK , video screenshot.

Cheung’s wife told police that she had received calls and text messages from unknown people that day claiming they were holding her husband hostage and demanding that she repaid HK$3.6 million in debt he allegedly owed.

Police arrested the two suspects at a restaurant in Luen Wo Hui, Fanling, on Wednesday. The duo both lived in the same village and one had been friends with the victim, Chan said.

Officers then located where Cheung was killed and retrieved his body, which was buried about 30 centimetres underground on the hillside next to the temple. The burial site was hidden under a layer of concrete covered with soil, according to Chan.

The investigator said they believed that the victim had died eight to 10 days ago.

Ping Yeung Tsuen
A photo taken near Ping Yeung Village. File photo: Chong Fat, via Wikicommons.

“[We] believe the deceased was brought to the location on the day he went missing over debt issues. When the negotiation took place near the temple, the victim was attacked by sharp objects and was buried close by afterwards,” Chan said.

The victim was found with his head and both hands tied up by plastic tape, as well as a stab wound to his left breast, the officer added.

However, he said the police investigation suggested that Cheung had willingly entered the suspects’ car and had not been taken by force.

Chan said the police were looking into the roles of the two arrested and the alleged debt, and did not rule out the possibility of more arrests in the future.

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Peter Lee is a reporter for HKFP. He was previously a freelance journalist at Initium, covering political and court news. He holds a Global Communication bachelor degree from CUHK.