This is the story of how a bloke who drove drunkenly into a police officer, flipped him off his bonnet and dragged him along a deserted city street at high speed until he was dead, and then fled, was found by the State of Queensland to be a fit and proper person to hold the new Brisbane casino licence. As hard as it is to believe this is all a true story, backed by documentary evidence, news reports of the time and court records. It’s a bloody disgrace, and so are the mainstream media that have refused to report on the issue.
There are three companies in the Destination Brisbane Consortium, which is going head to head with Jimmy Packer’s Crown Resorts for the Heavy-Weight Championship of Brisbane. The prize is a beauty – a gazillion dollars worth of Brisbane’s best riverside CBD real estate to redevelop and a licence to print money (also known as the 2nd Brisbane Casino licence), and the competition’s fierce, as you’d expect.
One of these 3 companies is a Cayman Islands registered, Hong Kong based outfit called the Far East Consortium International Limited. It’s a public company, listed on the Honkers Stock Exchange, but a family named Chiu own most of the shares and controls the running of the joint.
The patriarch of the outfit is a man named Deacon Chiu, the founder and long time Chairman until he handed the reins over to his eldest son David Chiu. I’ll tell you more about Deacon and David down the track – they are people whose business record and associations with criminals demand that they are forever disbarred from doing business in Queensland – but today I want to focus on Deacon Chiu’s younger son Dennis, who is 4 years junior to his brother David.
Dennis story is pretty interesting, because he’s a police killer, and you don’t meet too many of those outside Supermax, do you? In fact the last place you’d expect to meet a man who did hard time for the manslaughter of a police officer is on the board of a company seeking a casino licence, isn’t it?
But here we are in 2015 and Dennis Chiu, a man convicted of killing a police officer in Hong Kong, is knocking on Queensland’s door bidding for a casino licence. Twenty years ago it was a prison cell door he was knocking on, from the inside.
This is Dennis Chiu’s sordid story, and it is all on the public record. Simply follow the links in the story and you will be taken to the court records and news reports from the time. It is this man in each of these documents, and it is this man who killed an innocent police officer – there can be absolutely no doubt.
On the night of 13 July, 1983 Dennis decided to decided to go out drinking, just as a number of 25 year olds like to do on a Wednesday night. Usually they are students; or shift workers; or bludgers on the dole. But not Dennis Chiu, he was a billionaire’s son, and seemed to think that the usual rules of society didn’t apply to him.
This man, who was later portrayed as a young man who made a mistake – but who was actually older than James Dean, John Keats and Joan of Arc at the time – was seen drinking all night at clubs and bars in the company of friends. In the early hours of the next morning he stumbled out of a bar and into his car, and headed off for home.
It is of course illegal to drink heavily and drive, and what happened next is exactly why, because Dennis Chiu was in the coming minutes about to take an innocent life. And not just any life, but that of a young police constable who was only awake at that early hour because he was out doing his job, keeping the community safe from criminals like Dennis Chiu. And lost his life as a result, leaving a grieving widow and young children behind.
All due to Dennis Chiu’s absolute indifference to the law and the standards of human decency.
The Police Constable’s name was Cheng Man-Fai, and he was minding his own business on the 14th of July 1983, dismantling a police roadblock, when Dennis Chiu driving his late-model Volvo flew around a turn at high-speed and smashed directly into Constable Cheng. The officer was flung skyward by the impact of the collision, and somersaulted three feet into the air before landing chest first on the bonnet of the Volvo.
We’ll never know exactly how fast Dennis Chiu was driving when he careened into the unfortunate Officer, nor how drunk he actually was, because of what happened next.
At this point Dennis Chiu had not killed Constable Cheng, although he had clearly injured him very badly. A law-abiding person, no matter how drunk, would have stopped his car, got out and attempted to save the Officer’s life. He was required to both by law, and by any decent standards of humanity.
But not rich kid Dennis Chiu. No, he simply took off.
Unfortunately so too did Constable Cheng, who had become tangled up in the car’s damaged chassis as he rolled off the boot. So when Dennis Chiu put the pedal to the metal and fled from the scene, he was dragging the Constable’s broken but breathing body along the road for some considerable distance, which caused Cheng Man-Fai to suffer irreversible brain damage and, shortly after, death.
When he realised what he had done Dennis Chiu did not attend the local police station and hand himself in. He didn’t do so the next day when he had sobered up either, but rather chose to attempt to conceal his crime and leave the Constable’s grieving family forlorn.
But police investigators, who are always determined to track down the culprit in unlawful killings, become even more determined when the victim is one of their own, and rightly so. And they soon fingered Dennis for the crime, and arrested him for the Police Officer’s killing.
Dennis Chiu at the time of his arrest by Hong Kong Police
When he fronted court on the charge Dennis Chiu pleaded not guilty, as all cop killing dogs do. Rather than admit his actions, take responsibility and show remorse, Chiu chose instead to prolong and increase the Officer’s family’s pain by putting them through the ordeal of a trial, in which he put up an unbelievable defence that he didn’t feel the impact of the crash,; did not see the soon to be deceased Constable Cheng staring at him through the windscreen from a foot away when he landed on the boot; and did not notice that he was dragging Constable Chen’s body with him when he fled from the scene.
Predictably the jury rejected his defence, and Dennis was convicted of the crime of manslaughter. The Judge sentenced him to four years imprisonment.
If the sentence seems ridiculously light, well that’s because is it was. But you have to remember that Dennis Chiu’s father was, and is, one of the richest men in Hong Kong, and it’s the type of town where bullshit walks and money talks. And Dennis Chiu, who was the Chief Executive of his family’s company Asia Television was a powerful man in Kowloon himself.
In other circumstances he may well have got off with a suspended sentence, but even in Hong Kong you can’t kill Police Officers and not go to jail, no matter how much money or influence your family may have.
So Dennis went off to his cell, reappearing only once over the next couple of years for the hearing of his appeal – dismissed on all counts – before emerging back into the light of day at the conclusion of his sentence.
He of course ran straight back into his rich father’s arms, was slipped straight back into a Director’s role in the family business, and now here he is all these years later, turning up in Queensland as a member of the consortium chasing the Brisbane Casino Licence.
A police killer and ex-convict potentially in charge of the roulette wheel at Queen’s Wharf Casino. And not a single politician has said a word to stop it.
What an absolute disgrace.
Editor’s Note: The consortium headed by Dennis Chiu has since been awarded the Queensland Government contract to construct the new Casino at Queen’s Wharf