MACAO: Piculs of Gold

Six-foot, 200-pound Foo Tak-yam last week visited Macao's Buddhist Kuan Yin Temple. His partly pious, partly sensual intention was to smoke opium and contemplate a successful, sinful life that began in peddling doughnuts and culminated in ruling the fabulous gambling industry of the Orient's Monte Carlo. Foo's celebration was under way when three Chinese entered the hilltop pagoda, pulled pistols from their long black gowns and whisked him away in a black sedan. Four days later his son received a preliminary ransom demand: one picul of gold (133⅓ lbs. in weight, more than $62,000 U.S.).

For Foo a picul of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!