An unemployed mainland Chinese chef was jailed for three years in the District Court in Hong Kong on Monday after he attempted to steal HK$2 million (US$256,439) in Tsim Sha Tsui bank robbery in December 2016.

Sun Jing, 49, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of blackmail and one count of possession of offensive weapons in a public space.

Deputy Judge Lily Wong Sze-lai said a heavy sentence was deemed appropriate as Sun came to the city specifically to rob a bank though his plan was unsophisticated and the duration of crime lasted 20 minutes, Apple Daily reported. Sun’s demand for HK$2 million was also an act of greed, added Wong.

On December 6 last year, Sun Jing, who visited Hong Kong on a double-entry travel permit, gave a teller in a Fubon Bank branch a handwritten note claiming that he had taken her family hostage and demanded HK$2 million, Sing Pao reported.

The teller remained calm and kept stalling Sun by asking him to produce his identification documents or to wait patiently until the police arrived.

Police arrested Sun, and seized a second handwritten note with the same message in Traditional Chinese characters and a pair of folding scissors.