Hong Kong arrests six in US$322mil money laundering case

This April 22, 2021 photo shows some of the mobile phones, banking security authentication tokens and cheque books seized by an operation conducted by Hong Kong Customs. - INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT

HONG KONG (Bloomberg): Hong Kong authorities arrested six people suspected of money laundering involving HK$2.5 billion (US$322 million), in the latest case to hit the Asian financial hub.

Five men and one woman aged 23 to 50 were suspected of laundering money through 59 personal accounts at nine banks in Hong Kong, the Customs and Excise Department said in a briefing Thursday (April 22). They were involved in over 2,600 transactions from January 2018 to February 2020, it said, without naming the banks.

Hong Kong has been hit by a number of high-profile money laundering cases this year. The city’s police last month arrested 12 people for running alleged "ramp and dump” stock scams and money laundering after raids on luxury homes and brokerages across the city.

In January, the authorities arrested bank staff allegedly involved in HK$6.3 billion of dirty money flows over the past four years.

A report released last year by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists based on leaked documents found that Hong Kong was among the biggest centres in Asia for suspicious money flows from 1999 to 2017.

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