Hong Kong restaurant worker found guilty of blackmailing ex-lover with sex tapes

Senior executive of Hong Kong restaurant chain ended affair with 32-year-old for fear relationship would be exposed.

A 32-year-old woman has been convicted of blackmail over an attempt to extort HK$500,000 (US$64,000) from a senior executive of a Hong Kong restaurant chain with sex tapes.

Wong Sa-sa, a former restaurant worker, was found to have harassed the high-ranking figure with dozens of intimidating text messages over a 27-day period in September and October last year in a bid to coerce the married man into paying her money in exchange for keeping his infidelity a secret.

The District Court trial heard that Wong started an extramarital relationship with the senior executive in early 2021 because she became unsatisfied with her own marriage.

The complainant, who was granted anonymity by the court, was described as a “fairly well-known” individual in the catering industry with 40 years of experience, who was affiliated with a local restaurant chain “of considerable scale”.

The court heard the pair became lovers in January and had sex for the first time in a hotel in February. They had intercourse on five more occasions, until the married man began distancing himself from Wong in July fearing that his affair would be exposed.

Wong started bombarding him with WhatsApp messages in August, before she requested money to keep her mouth shut.

Between September 10 and October 6, Wong was said to have sent at least 13 intimidating messages, in which she attempted to extort HK$150,000 to HK$500,000 from the senior executive by threatening to leak pictures and footage of the two sharing a bed.

In one message, the defendant wrote: “If I still don’t see the money, beware of the consequences ... You’ll be in great trouble. You’ll definitely be affected, and you’ll have many pieces to pick up. The reputation of [the company] will be ruined.”

In the witness box, Wong accused the high-profile figure of breaking his promise to take care of her for life, adding her requests for money were merely attempts to seek his affection as she wanted to reconcile with him.

She also claimed the married man had “raped” her and threatened to hire thugs to beat her if she did not disappear.

But deputy district judge Jacky Ip Kai-leung found the defendant’s claims unbelievable, pointing to pictures taken by Wong which showed her willingly making intimate physical contact with the complainant in the hotel.

Instead, Ip found the lengthy time span and nature of the intimidating messages were proof that the threats issued were not a result of momentary impulse.

“The defendant clearly did not want to meet [the complainant] or seek his affection. She did not talk about the pair’s relationship or express a desire to reconcile. Her aim was merely to extort money from [the complainant],” Ip said.

The deputy judge adjourned the case to October 25 for mitigation before remanding Wong in custody.

Blackmail carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail, but is capped at seven years when the case is heard in the District Court.