A money changer as well as its male director and a male shopkeeper were convicted of operating a money service without a valid licence one after another at Eastern Magistrates' Courts. The money changer and the male director were each fined $8,000 earlier while the male shopkeeper was fined $9,600 today (August 23).
Customs officers in January last year conducted an investigation and discovered that a money changer and its male director plus a male shopkeeper had been operating money changing business at a money changer in North Point after its renewal application of a Money Service Operator licence was refused. Therefore, the money changer and the duo were suspected of operating a money service without a licence.
Under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance, a person who wishes to operate a remittance or money changing service needs to first obtain a licence from the Customs and Excise Department. The maximum penalty for such operators without a valid licence upon conviction is a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for six months.
Customs reminds consumers to procure services from licensed money service operators. A register of licensees is accessible from the website of Customs' Money Service Operators Licensing System at eservices.customs.gov.hk/MSOS/wsrh/001s1?request_locale=en.
Members of the public may report any suspected unlicensed money service operation to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ends/Tuesday, August 23, 2022