Edited by Barry Rider
Chapter 10: Anti-money laundering regime in Hong Kong
This chapter focuses on the anti-money laundering regime in Hong Kong with particular reference to the legislative framework as interpreted by recent case law of the Courts of Hong Kong. Reference will be made to certain English cases which remain of persuasive authority in Hong Kong. Consideration is given to the approach of the Courts to those charged with money laundering and who elect to remain silent at Trial as well as current sentencing guidelines. Money laundering is regarded as a very serious offence given that it adversely affects Hong Kong’s reputation as an international financial centre. Such is the golden thread which runs through the relevant legislation and has been recognised by the Courts. In the Court of Appeal case of HKSAR v Xu Xia Li & Anor, Woo VP commented as follows as regards the obvious rationale for the offence: The prohibition of the offence is in order to strike at those who give assistance to criminals to dispose of or retain their ill-gotten gains as if they were derived from legitimate activities. Without the assistance of money launderers, it would be more difficult for criminals to clothe their illegal proceeds with the same respect as lawful gains and the chances of law enforcement detection of illegal activities that produce monetary benefits would be enhanced. Money laundering is therefore treated as a serious offence.
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