Two siblings have been apprehended in Hong Kong over the allegations of money laundering through fiat and cryptocurrencies. Hong Kong Police has said that the accused jointly laundered approximately US$ 384 Million. If both of them are found guilty as charged then it is very likely that both will serve jail time spreading over 14 years along with a fine of US$ 5 Million.
Corruption is a menace to society and if it is not addressed then it has the potential of destroying nations. Similarly, money laundering is a crime that destroys the equality and integrity of nations. This is why strict laws have been made and adopted worldwide to eliminate the two evils. Both these evils are intertwined with each other and when there is corruption then there is laundering as well.
Two siblings (i.e. a girl and her brother) were recently arrested from their joint home in Hong Kong by local police. The arrests of the siblings were made on the allegations of their involvement in crimes such as money laundering. The woman, who is 28 years of age, and her brother, who is 21, were at home when police arrested them on 28th December. The police raid was led by the officers from the Hong Kong Customs Department.
Later, a press statement was issued by Hong Kong Customs Department saying that both were accused of money laundering. The statement further noted that the two accused had bought certain properties with the money which they had laundered.
According to the Department’s narrative, the department had carried out a thorough investigation before making the arrests. It was told that the accused had opened their fiat accounts with local financial institutions in their personal names. Apart from owning accounts in multiple financial institutions, both had opened accounts with multiple crypto exchanges and trade platforms. They were dumping ill-gotten money into the accounts of crypto exchanges and banks.
However, the police have confirmed their release as they had obtained bails. But police are committed to undertaking a further investigation into the matter. If they are found guilty of laundering money, then the Courts in Hong Kong can sentence them to serve 14 years in prison. It is in the Court’s discretion as well if it would like to impose fines upon the accused as well. In the case of the siblings, the find could be more than US$ 5 Million if the trial is able to prove the case against them.
It is considered a financial crime of “laundering” nature when an owner of the property cannot prove the source acquiring the property in question. For instance, as proof, a person can provide income statements or show bank documents describing where the money had come from and for what purpose. In the absence of proof, the ownership and the money used for acquiring the property are considered ‘illegal proceeds’ and ‘laundering’.