Date
28 July 2017
Criminal gangs have been inducing people to open bank accounts in Hong Kong to help them launder money. Photo: Bloomberg
Criminal gangs have been inducing people to open bank accounts in Hong Kong to help them launder money. Photo: Bloomberg

HK money laundering cases jump 79% in first half

The Commercial Crime Bureau received 282 cases relating to money-laundering in the first six months of the year, up 79 percent from a year earlier, Ming Pao Daily reported on Monday.

Nine of the cases were regarded as most serious, involving a combined amount of HK$456 million, compared with only two such cases for the same period last year, the bureau said.

Criminal gangs usually induce people outside of Hong Kong to open bank accounts in the city with fake information to help them launder money.

These dummies are paid between HK$500 and HK$3,000 as commission.

Kelvin Leung Tsz-kin, the bureau’s acting chief inspector, said his office received a tip-off from a local bank in 2012 that several criminal gangs had forged bank statements for account holders.

Investigation showed that more than 100 fake accounts were opened and used to launder tens of millions of Hong Kong dollars.

The bureau called on residents not to cooperate with such criminal gangs, warning them of the heavy penalties for money laundering.

It is also stepping up coordination with the Monetary Authority on information exchange.

Banks are also asked to strengthen scrutiny of accounts and report suspicious cases.

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KZ/AC/CG

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