Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ11: Anti-money laundering

     Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, to a question by the Hon Albert Ho in the Legislative Council today (December 12):


     Under section 25 of the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 455), a person commits an offence if he knows or suspects that any property represents any person's proceeds of crime and still deals with that property (commonly known as "money laundering"). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of persons penalised for breaching the aforesaid provision in the past three years, together with the amounts of crime proceeds involved in those cases in general; the penalties imposed by the court on the convicted in general; and

(b) of the resources deployed by the authorities (including the amounts of actual expenses) in the past three years for promotion and public education to educate the public on how to avoid breaching the aforesaid provision, together with the details of the relevant promotion and education activities (including the number of seminars held); and whether reviews have been conducted to ascertain if the resources deployed by the authorities were adequate?



     In accordance with section 25 of the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance (OSCO), Chapter 455, a person commits an offence, if, knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that any property in whole or in part directly or indirectly represents any person¡¦s proceeds of an indictable offence, he deals with that property. The maximum penalty is a fine of $5,000,000 and imprisonment for 14 years.

     In Hong Kong, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau is the overall co-ordinator for anti-money laundering / counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) policies and for the formulation of improvement measures, as well as relevant publicity and education programmes. The Security Bureau shares part of the AML/CFT work, eg in respect of the implementation of AML requirements concerning Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs).

     In consultation with relevant policy bureaux and departments, our reply to the question is as follows:

(a) Since 2009, the number of persons who have been convicted under section 25 of OSCO are as follows:

          2009     2010     2011      2012
                                   (up to Oct)
          ----     ----     ----   -----------
No. of     
persons   307      360      246        148

     The above convicted persons were sentenced for imprisonment terms ranging from one year to six years. There is no record of the amount of crime proceeds involved in these cases.

(b) The policy bureaux, law enforcement agencies and relevant regulatory authorities responsible for AML policy and money laundering offence have all along attached emphasis on organising a full spectrum of publicity and educational programmes to promote awareness of relevant legal requirements. These include collaboration with the financial services sector and the DNFBPs in drawing up sector-specific guidelines or practice circulars, as well as in conducting training to enhance practitioners' awareness and understanding of relevant legislation. About 100 seminars were organised between 2009 and 2012 in collaboration with relevant sectors.

     The Administration and relevant regulatory authorities have also produced publicity materials, including posters, pamphlets and Announcements in the Public Interest (APIs), explaining requirements of AML legislation, eg obligations to file suspicious transactions reports, and practitioners' obligations concerning customer due diligence and record-keeping pursuant to relevant legal requirements, practice circulars or guidelines applicable to relevant sectors.

     The Administration and relevant regulatory authorities will continue publicity and education concerning AML legislation, and will continuously review the effectiveness of such work to meet changing needs of the day.

Ends/Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Issued at HKT 13:24


Print this page