Hong Kong Customs presses first charge for money laundering activities by means of cross-boundary transportation of large quantity of currency and bearer negotiable instruments

19 Apr 2023

Hong Kong Customs today (April 19) laid charges under the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (OSCO) against two women, both aged 59, with a total of four counts of "dealing with property known or reasonably believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence" (commonly known as money laundering). Since the Cross-boundary Movement of Physical Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Ordinance came into operation in July 2018, this is the first time for Customs to lay a charge under the OSCO against a person suspected of engaging in money laundering activities by transporting a large quantity of currency and bearer negotiable instruments (CBNIs) (i.e. the total value of which is more than HK$120,000) across the boundary.

The two women were found to have frequently transported a large quantity of CBNIs to Hong Kong via boundary control points in the period between 2018 and 2019. After investigation, the two women are suspected to have dealt with a total of about HK$280 million of suspected crime proceeds.

The Syndicate Crimes Investigation Bureau of Customs arrested two women in September 2019.

The case will be mentioned at Fanling Magistrates' Courts on April 28.

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 (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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