Alleged former triad boss “Shanghai Boy” Kwok Wing-hung was arrested on Wednesday, suspected of laundering more than HK$100 million, according to police sources.
One source said he was thought to have filtered the money – from illegal bookmaking – through four Hong Kong bank accounts over five years.
The 59-year-old businessman was picked up shortly after daybreak when officers from the Narcotics Bureau’s financial investigation squad raided his Repulse Bay flat. He was taken to Aberdeen police station.
Wearing sunglassess, Kwok was seen inside an unmarked police car leaving the station before midday. He was then taken to police headquarters in Wan Chai.
According to police, some documents were seized from Kwok’s apartment. Officers arrested him for dealing in the proceeds of what was known or believed to represent an indictable offence, a euphemism for money laundering.
One police source said Kwok was suspected of laundering more than HK$100 million through four local bank accounts between January 2007 and July 2012.
“The money is believed to be the proceeds from illegal bookmaking activities,” the source added.
As of 3pm on Wednesday, Kwok was still being held for questioning and had not been charged.
The operation was still under way and police did not rule out more arrests.
Kwok is understood to be the former leader of the Wo Shing Wo triad society.
In August 2012, Kwok and two rural leaders Tsang Shu-wo and Tang Lai-tung were among 130 people arrested in an anti-triad crackdown against two gangs suspected of laundering HK$300 million. Kwok was released unconditionally in 2015.
In December 2015, he was punched in the face by a man in a cafe at The Peninsula hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, in what was thought to be a dispute over his mistress and financial problems with his Macau business.
In July 2016, he was arrested for criminal intimidation, conspiracy to wound with intent and conspiracy to blackmail after he returned to Hong Kong from Thailand.
Kwok became known to the public in 2012 when it was reported he attended a dinner with aides of Leung Chun-ying – who was then running for chief executive.
The dinner prompted accusations that Leung and his team were colluding with triads.
Leung and his supporters said they did not know Kwok and had not invited him, and the Independent Commission Against Corruption later called off an investigation into the alleged collusion.
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