Notorious Hong Kong gangster who inspired a hit crime movies dies of cancer

By Menahem Zen / 2017.04.20
Hong Kong police officers stand guard around a prison vehicle.

Yip Kai-foon, the notorious gangster, dubbed the king of thieves died at 55 due to cancer last Wednesday. His heist has inspired a movie "Trivisa" to be made.

Yip has been battling lung cancer for some times. He was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital on April 1 for the treatment, but his condition deteriorated. Doctor pronounced him death at 1:02 a.m. on Wednesday, April 19.

Known as the most notorious criminal in the history of Hong Kong, Yip expressed his remorse in 2010, as reported by South China Morning Post. He admitted his wrongdoings and regretted the crime he conducted in his past. During his action in the 1980's, he was renown to rob the jewellery stores and took million of dollars worth of the jewellery.

Every time he made his escape, he fired his AK-47 at the police. The image of him wearing a balaclava and firing the AK-47 dominated the evening news in 1980's, as reported by Shanghai Daily.In his criminal career, the estimated total amount of stolen goods he took is more than $2.5 million.

He was arrested in 1984 and sentenced to 18 years in prison. He escaped from prison in 1989 and fled to mainland China. He returned to Hong Kong and continue his hiest, but in 1996 as he was arrested following a heavy gunfight with the police in Kennedy Town. Yip was shot in the spine, making him paralyzed waist down.

The court sentenced him to 36 years in prison. During his imprisonment, he became Christian in 2004 and later expressed his remorse in 2010 in a written public announcement.

His escapade has inspired the producers Johnie To and Yau Nai-hoi to produce a crime thriller movie "Trivisa" in 2016 as the fictionalized event of the Yip's action. Now, as he has passed away, the movie is expected to gain more audience. Watch the report of the death of Yip on Wednesday, April 19 below:

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