London has agreed to transfer back to Macau £28.7 million (US$44.3 million) of illicit assets stashed in Britain by a former top Macau official who was convicted of graft and money-laundering.
The repatriation of money linked to Ao Man Long, who is now serving time in jail in Macau, will come about following a deal inked by Macau and British officials this week.
On Tuesday, an agreement was signed in Macau by Caroline Wilson, the British consul general to Hong Kong and Macau, and Sonia Chan Hoi-fan, Macau’s secretary for administration and justice.
In 2010, Macau put in a request to Britain, through diplomatic channels, for return of ill-gotten money stashed in the UK by Ao.
Ao was earlier found guilty of bribe-taking and recommended a lengthy jail sentence.
Now, the British government is returning the confiscated assets under the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
The return of the confiscated assets is an exemplary case of the successful implementation of the UNCAC, the British consulate general said in a statement.
Confiscating assets overseas is a difficult area in law enforcement, Macau’s justice secretary Chan noted, thanking Britain for its cooperation.
The move has significant implications for the fight against crime, upholding justice and combating money laundering abroad, Chan said.
Ao, who had served as Macau’s secretary for public projects and transportation, was in 2012 sentenced to 29 years in prison for taking bribes, laundering money and abusing his power in relation to the award of lucrative public contracts.
– Contact us at [email protected]