Hong Kong authorities received 33,000 reports of suspected illegal financial transactions last year, a 12-year high and a 40 per cent increase from 2012, after the government tightened money-laundering laws, the South China Morning Post reported Sunday.
The Financial Investigations Division of the Narcotics Bureau launched 349 investigations in 2013, up 41.9 per cent from 246 in 2012.
Assets frozen by Hong Kong police in money laundering investigations rose 13.7 per cent to HK$873 million in 2013 from HK$768 million in 2012, the report said. In 2011, police froze HK$731 million worth of assets.
The investigations gained momentum after new legislation on money laundering came into force in 2012. Authorities spend an average of 18 months on each case, the report said.
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