Prison life dawns on Chan

Tony Chan Chun-chuen yesterday spent the first of what’s expected to be as many as 600 Sundays behind bars.

The former feng shui practitioner, also known as Peter Chan, received two concurrent 12-year terms for forging late Chinachem tycoon Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum’s will and using a false instrument. An eight-member High Court jury found him guilty on Thursday after two days of deliberations.

The forged will made Chan the heir to Wang’s multibillion-dollar estate.

After three nights at the Stanley Prison hospital, Chan had been expected to be moved to a Grade B cell today.

But after he expressed fears that he may be attacked or harassed by other prisoners, Correctional Service Department Commissioner Sin Yat-kin used his discretionary power to put him in one of the Grade A cells, which are more closely guarded and hold more serious offenders, such as murderers, robbers, drug traffickers and kidnappers.

Infamous prisoners such as robber Yip Kai-foon, who used an AK47 assault rifle to rob jewelry shops, are among those housed in Grade A cells.

Grade A prisoners are assigned jobs such as making road signs, and are mostly locked up in their cells. Like the rest, Chan must wake up at 6.30am and return to his cell at 7.30pm.

On Saturday, Chan’s wife Tam Miu- ching arrived at the jail with their daughter and Chan’s brother Chan Chun-kwok to give him some personal items.

But Tam later walked out with the items still in her hands, suggesting they did not meet department requirements.

The three later had dinner at The Mira hotel with pastor Enoch Lam Yee-nok who baptized Chan. It is believed they discussed a possible appeal.

In passing sentence on Friday, Justice Andrew Macrae said Chan is a charlatan who cruelly took advantage of a sad, lonely and tragic widow.

“Cruel, because by this forgery not only did you insult Nina Wang’s friendship, but egregious because had you succeeded, you would have cheated a charitable foundation,” Justice Macrae said. “I have no doubt … that you are nothing more than a clever and no doubt beguiling charlatan.”

Chan, 53, was also ordered to pay about HK$2 million toward the cost of a preliminary inquiry he had requested.

Wang died of cancer in April 2007, aged 69. She lavished millions on Chan, who she met in 1992 while looking for a feng shui master to help find her husband, Teddy Wang Tei-huei, kidnapped in 1990. His body was never found.


Prison life dawns on Chan
Kelly Ip
July 8, 2013
The Standard