Showing posts with label Macau’s biggest corruption scandal has brought even more unflattering attention to Hong Kong’s business community.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Macau’s biggest corruption scandal has brought even more unflattering attention to Hong Kong’s business community.. Show all posts

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

 The Standard newspaper reported Tuesday that Joseph Lau, the fifth richest person in Hong Kong, and Steven Lo, chairman of BMA Investment and South China Football Club, were named in the third trial of convicted former official Ao Man-long. Shares of the property developer Chinese Estates Holdings, which is controlled by Lau, were suspended from trading in Hong Kong on Tuesday morning. Macau’s highest court heard the previous day that an unnamed company controlled by Lau and Lo allegedly paid a bribe of 20 million Hong Kong dollars ($2.6 million) to the former Secretary for Transport and Public Works in 2005 to acquire land on the Cotai Strip, opposite Macau’s airport. The plots were developed by Chinese Estates, which recently began selling the first batch of apartments from the project that will eventually comprise nine towers with a total of 899 units. Ao is facing six corruption and three money laundering charges, while already serving a 28.5-year sentence from dozens of previous convictions that involved bribery, money laundering and abuse of power among others. The maximum prison sentence in Macau is 30 years. At the time of his arrest in December 2006, Macau’s Commission Against Corruption, discovered Ao had amassed assets totaling 800 million Macau patacas ($100 million). Lau is a longtime fixture on the Hong Kong Rich List. His wealth was most recently valued at $6.5 billion. The real estate magnate is well known for his impressive collections of art and wine, whereas Lo’s interests lie primarily in the entertainment industry with music and movie productions. This latest set of revelations from Macau follows the arrest of the billionaire brothers Raymond and Thomas Kwok in March. The joint chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) were taken into custody along with Rafael Hui, a former top government official, in connection with an investigation into alleged bribery. Charges in the case have yet to be filed.

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