Hong Kong Customs today (June 15) mounted an operation and detected a suspected money laundering case with an arrest of a woman suspected to be involved. She was suspected of using personal bank accounts since 2018 at various banks in Hong Kong to launder a total of about $350 million from unknown sources.
Acting upon intelligence, Customs officers targeted a local person whose background and financial status were highly incommensurate with the large amount of suspicious transactions recorded in the person's personal bank accounts. The person concerned is suspected of remitting suspicious funds via local banks and participating in money laundering activities.
Following in-depth investigations, Customs raided two residential premises and a licensed money changer today, and seized one mobile phone and four bank cards. A 51-year-old woman was arrested for "dealing with property known or reasonably believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence" (commonly known as money laundering) under the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (OSCO).
An investigation is ongoing. The arrested woman has been released on bail pending further investigation and the likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out.
Customs reminds members of the public that they may risk committing the crime of money laundering if they use personal bank accounts to deal with money from unknown sources, regardless of whether monetary reward is involved.
Under the OSCO, a person commits an offence if he or she 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 million and imprisonment for 14 years while the crime proceeds are also subject to confiscation.
Members of the public may report any suspected money laundering activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ends/Wednesday, June 15, 2022