Hong Kong Customs busts largest money laundering case on record

An investigation is ongoing. The seven arrested persons have been released on bail pending further investigation, and the likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out, Customs said.

1 min read
Independent Commission Against Corruption in Hong Kong [ Photo Credit: thestandard.com.hk]

Hong Kong Customs on Friday announced that it had dismantled a large-scale transnational money laundering syndicate, which had laundered about 14 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 1.79 billion US dollars) through transnational trade activities, as well as a money laundering operation center, marking the largest money laundering case shut down by Customs in terms of the amount of tainted money involved.

Through an enforcement operation codenamed “Daybreak” on Jan. 30, Customs arrested a total of seven persons suspected to be connected with the case and about 165 million Hong Kong dollars worth of assets under the names of the arrested individuals have been frozen during the operation.

Acting upon intelligence, Customs officers identified a suspected money laundering syndicate and initiated a financial investigation.

Customs discovered that the money laundering syndicate was family-owned. It not only opened multiple companies and bank accounts in Hong Kong, but also recruited local persons through an intermediary to open shell companies and stooge accounts for dealing with a total of about 14 billion Hong Kong dollars of suspected crime proceeds.

After in-depth investigations, Customs officers conducted the enforcement operation, and raided 11 premises across different districts in Hong Kong. Seven people believed to be the mastermind, core and grassroots members of the syndicate, and the intermediary who recruited the stooge account holders were arrested.

An investigation is ongoing. The seven arrested persons have been released on bail pending further investigation, and the likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out, Customs said.

Xinhua News Agency

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