“It’s the largest case we have busted in recent years,” said Yip Wing-lam, a superintendent at the commercial crime bureau, he also noted that this was the first time local employees had been arrested in connection.
Approximately 14 accounts were opened between 2017 and 2018 with the offenders falsifying documents and even coaching applicants for interviews, police said.
According to official sources, the source of the illicit funds were several foreign jurisdictions, including Italy, Germany and Vietnam, with $1m in cash being seized from the apartment of a suspect.
In Hong Kong, Money laundering carries sentences of up to 14 years in jail and a fine of HK$5 million (US$645,000). However, transparency campaigners are quick to note that the current regulatory regime is lax and facilitates the opening of shell companies and the laundering of money through such companies.