Millionaire Hong Kong businessman escapes jail


Hong Kong : A high-profile millionaire Hong Kong businessman was beginning a community service order Saturday after escaping jail for drunkenly groping two male taxi drivers.

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Stephen Gan Fock-wai, known as the Prince of White Flower Oil because of his company’s health products, was ordered in a courthearing Friday to perform 180 hours of community service.

He was convicted of assaulting two taxi drivers by fondling their thighs and crotches as they drove him home.

The unmarried Gan, who became a celebrity by singing on television advertisements for his company’s products, was arrested after fondling a 34-year-old taxi driver as he drove him home late at night last year.

Gan denied the offence, but a second driver, 37, came forward to complain of a similar assault in 2003 and said Gan offered him 2,000 Hong Kong dollars ($553) to have sex with him.

At Friday’s sentencing hearing, magistrate Winston Leung said Gan was “a good person” who committed the offences because of alcohol and his long-suppressed bisexual urges.

In a handwritten letter to the court, Gan promised to give up drinking and going to bars and would follow his “faith and destiny” rather than urges in future, Saturday’s South China Morning Post reported.

Gan stepped down as chief executive of his family company Pak Fah Yeow International after being convicted of the offences but remains executive director.