A graft case has been filed against three high-profile businessmen, including a prominent member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a former Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) director and a relative of the Lee Shau-kee family.
Over the weekend, the Independent Commission Against Corruption charged pro-Beijing lawyer Kennedy Wong Ying-ho and two other directors of Perfect Ace Investments with bribery for allegedly paying fees to a former director of Ocean Grand Chemicals Holdings (02882.HK), which the trio took over and renamed Hong Kong Resources Holdings in 2007.
Wong’s co-accused are Chui Chuen-shun, father of Cathy Chui Chi-kei, daughter-in-law of Henderson Land (00012.HK) chairman Lee Shau-kee, and Richard Yin Ying-neng, a former director of the SFC Intermediaries Supervision Department who also served senior positions in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the New South Wales Corporate Affairs Commission.
The charges, which were filed while Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was reportedly on a holiday in Finland, raised eyebrows on the conduct of pro-Beijing loyalists.
The case also came on the heels of Leung’s cabinet reshuffle following the resounding defeat of the government’s political reform bill.
Wong faces a separate charge of offering HK$15 million worth of share options for HK$1.8 million to the Ocean Grand director for his support in acquiring 3D-Gold Jewellery.
Wong has been a rising star in the pro-Beijing camp since he became a CPPCC member in 2003. He was also named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World in 2003.
He sat on the board of various listed companies including China Overseas Land & Investment (00688.HK), Goldlion Holdings (00533.HK), Bank of Beijing (601169.CN), Shanghai Industrial Urban Development (00563.HK), Times Property Holdings (01233.HK) and Asia Cement (China) Holdings (00743.HK).
He is also an election committee member for the chief executive.
Wong is a managing partner of Philip KH Wong, Kennedy YH Wong & Co. His father is philanthropist Philip Wong Kin-hang and his sister is Ada Wong Ying-kay, a former Wan Chai District Council chairwoman.
Wong resigned from Hong Kong Resources Sunday night, but remained as a consultant with an annual consultancy fee of HK$1.5 million to advise on major board decisions.
His wife Wong Chew Li Chin was named his successor. She signed a three-year contract as company chairwoman for HK$3 million a year.
A trained accountant, Mrs. Wong has served executive committee member of the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society.
Kennedy Wong took home HK$6 million, including a HK$1.5 million bonus, last year.
In an announcement, Hong Kong Resources said the ICAC charges were initiated against Wong in his personal capacity, and were not related to the current affairs of the company and its subsidiaries.
It said Wong resigned because he may need to spend more time and effort on matters relating to the ICAC charge and cannot devote sufficient time and effort to the company.
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