A car dealer was sentenced to five years' imprisonment at the District Court today (April 6) following his conviction for dealing with property known or believed to be crime proceeds (money laundering) on March 8, in contravention of the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (OSCO).
Hong Kong Customs and Mainland Customs mounted a joint operation against a vehicle smuggling syndicate earlier. During the investigation, the law enforcement agencies found that a local car dealer had taken part in exporting left-hand drive vehicles from Hong Kong to Vietnam, smuggling them to different places in the Mainland and eventually laundering the crime proceeds back to Hong Kong.
Investigations revealed that the car dealer dealt with a total amount of about RMB48 million, which was believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence between August 15, 2012 and April 16, 2013.
Following prolonged and in-depth investigations, Hong Kong Customs arrested the car dealer on September 26, 2013. He was subsequently charged with the offence of one count of money laundering and his assets of about HK$17 million were restrained. The case ended up with his conviction at the District Court last month.
Money laundering is a serious crime. Under the OSCO, a person commits an offence if he deals with any property, knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that such property in whole or in part directly or indirectly represents any person's proceeds of an indictable offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $5,000,000 and imprisonment for 14 years.
Members of the public may report any suspected violations of the OSCO to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Friday, April 6, 2018