Chung Thye Phin - Held Up By Pirates On The Canton River

Held Up By Pirates On The Canton River

In 1897, during a trip to China, he found himself and his entourage held up by pirates. What's perhaps even more surprising is that more than a few United States newspapers carried the following story about this son of Malaya:

"Tacoma, Wash., August 30. -- The steamer Columbia, from Yokohama, brings Oriental advices up to July 27. News has just reached Hong Kong of the prevalence of pirates on the Canton River and one of the most daring outrages perpetrated. One of the sons of Capt. Chung Kewi, a Straits millionaire, Chung Ah Phin, was the victim. With a few of his relatives he hired a boat and they were proceeding to their native place. On the second day the boat stuck in the mud and could not proceed. During the night a gang of men with painted faces and fully armed boarded the boat. With revolvers leveled at the passengers they commanded silence, while four men began at once to look for plunder. Ah Phin brought from the Straits jewelry amounting in value to $50,000 and $20,000 in cash. These the pirates took, besides clothing, etc. They left, after threatening the victims with instant death if they made a noise till twelve hours afterward. In the morning information was sent down to Canton, but before the authorities had time to get a gunboat up the river the pirates had made their escape."

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