24 Hong Kong domestic helpers arrested in money-laundering crackdown after opening bank accounts used to wash illicit funds
29 Jul 2021

Twenty-four foreign domestic helpers were among 29 people arrested by Hong Kong police this week in a crackdown on an alleged money-laundering syndicate said to have washed more than HK$27 million (US$3.5 million) in criminal proceeds over a 10-month period.

The domestic workers were the holders of bank accounts used to launder the dirty money, acting Chief Inspector Chan Hok-lun of the force’s Financial Intelligence and Investigation Bureau said on Wednesday.

“Our investigation revealed the domestic helpers were paid HK$1,000 to several thousand dollars each as a monetary reward for opening bank accounts. They were then ordered to hand over the related bank cards and passwords to the core members of the syndicate,” he said.

The alleged ringleaders arrested were two Nigerian nationals: a merchant with a Hong Kong identity card and another man holding a recognisance form, a temporary identification document that permits the bearer to remain in the city.

Three “core members” identified under the duo – two Filipino women and another Nigerian man – were said to have been tasked with finding women willing to open the bank accounts then retrieving the illegal proceeds from ATMs.

The domestic workers all hailed from either the Philippines or Indonesia.

Acting superintendent Tang Hoi-tung said the bureau’s investigation revealed the syndicate had been in operation since July of last year, laundering more than HK$27 million through 35 bank accounts.

By Clifford Lo, South China Morning Post, 28 July 2021

Read more at South China Morning Post

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