Hong Kong Customs detected a smuggling case of Mark Six lottery tickets on September 21, and has further arrested two persons suspected to be connected with the case today (September 29). The duo were suspected of being involved in "dealing with property known or reasonably believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence" (commonly known as money laundering), and smuggling activities.
Acting upon intelligence, Customs officers targeted a local woman while conducting a follow-up investigation into the smuggling case. She was suspected of purchasing about 16 000 Mark Six lottery tickets on September 21 at two betting centres.
After an in-depth investigation, Customs officers today took enforcement action and raided a residential premises in Tsuen Wan where about $280,000 in cash, a number of mobile phones and a batch of bank cards and shipping documents were seized. A 48-year-old woman and her 49-year-old husband were arrested for money laundering and attempting to export unmanifested cargo. Customs has also arranged to freeze more than $1 million in assets held by the duo.
An investigation is ongoing. The two arrested persons have been released on bail pending further investigation, and the likelihood of further arrests is not ruled out.
Money laundering and smuggling are serious offences. Under the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance, 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.
Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting unmanifested cargo is liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.
Members of the public may report any suspected money laundering or smuggling activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (email@example.com).
Ends/Thursday, September 29, 2022