Hong Kong police have arrested 17 people and broke apart a syndicate that has been laundering HK$97m over the past 16 months.
According to South China Morning Post, nine men and eight women were detained in a series of raids across Hong Kong last week. These individuals comprised core syndicate members and holders of online bank accounts used to handle crime proceeds.
Lau Ho-tak – chief inspector of the Kowloon East regional crime unit – said the group had processed the funds through more than 20 online bank accounts since 2021.
He added, “The investigation suggests the money involved was crime proceeds generated from illegal gambling, loan-shark activities, and online shopping scams.”
In addition, senior inspector Tuen Yuk-hang said the syndicate used money to lure local residents into setting up accounts with virtual banks, which were then used to launder the crime proceeds. Many holders were told to surrender their personal information and account details to syndicate members who then processed the money.
Yuk-hang remarked, “We discovered that some of the accounts had 1,000 transactions involving more than HK$100,000 in a single day.”
Following the gathering of evidence, officers rounded up the suspects. The suspects included housewives, restaurant employees, transport workers and even those who were unemployed. The force said that suspects were detained on suspicion of conspiracy to launder money.
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