3 Min Read
* 29-year-old foreign man in police custody
* Two women found dead in apartment in central HK district
* BoA says ex-employee has same name of man media call the suspect (Adds comment from Bank of America, more details)
By Anne Marie Roantree
HONG KONG, Nov 2 (Reuters) - A 29-year-old British banker has been arrested in Hong Kong in connection with the grisly murder of two women, a rare occurrence in a city known for its low homicide rate.
Hong Kong police said in a statement on Saturday that a 29-year-old foreign man had been detained earlier that day after two women were found dead in an expensive apartment in Wan Chai, a central city district known for its night life.
The man has not been charged.
Police declined to give the name or the nationality of the man, whom local media and a source with knowledge of the situation have identified as being a Bank of America Merrill Lynch banker.
A spokesman for Bank of America Merrill Lynch told Reuters on Sunday that the U.S. bank had, until recently, an employee bearing the same name as a man Hong Kong media have described as the chief suspect in the double murder case.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch would not give more details nor clarify when the person had left the bank.
Britain's Foreign Office in London said on Saturday a British national had been arrested in Hong Kong, without specifying the nature of any suspected crime.
The body of one of the two victims had been hidden in a suitcase on a balcony, while the other, a foreign woman of between 25 and 30, was found lying inside the apartment with wounds to her neck and buttocks, police said in a statement.
The man had called police in the early hours of Saturday and asked them to investigate the case, police said.
Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper said the suspect had taken about 2,000 photographs and some video footage of the victims after the killings including close-ups of their wounds. Local media said the two women were prostitutes.
The apartment where the bodies were found is on the 31st floor in a building popular with financial professionals, where average rents are about HK$30,000 (nearly $4,000) a month.
"It's very shocking because we never expected something like this to happen in Hong Kong, especially in the same building that I'm living in," said banker Mina Liu.
Another woman who lives down the corridor from the flat where the bodies were found said she had seldom seen anyone come and go from the apartment.
There were 14 homicides in Hong Kong, a city of seven million, between January and June, down from 56 in the same period last year, according to government crime statistics.
In one of Hong Kong's most talked-about killings, the so-called "milkshake murder", a Merrill Lynch banker was clubbed to death in 2003 by his wife, who drugged him beforehand by serving him a milkshake full of sleeping pills. (Reporting by Farh Master, Anne Marie Roantree and Gregory Torode and Lisa Jucca; Writing by Lisa Jucca; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall, Robert Birsel, Kim Coghill)