Hong Kong’s Customs and Excise Department arrested two people suspected of laundering about $384 million through personal bank accounts and a cryptocurrency exchange, the agency said in a release dated Dec. 28.
The two were arrested under the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (OSCO) for “dealing with property known or reasonably believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence,” or money laundering.The release said the suspects had opened personal accounts from May to November last year at various Hong Kong banks, including virtual banks and a cryptocurrency trading platform. They were accused of engaging in suspected money laundering by dealing with money from unknown sources through bank transfers, cash deposits and cryptocurrency.The 28-year-old woman and her 21-year-old brother were arrested in Yau Tong district and were released on bail pending further investigation. Further arrests have not been ruled out.Under the OSCO, a person commits an offence if he or she deals with any property knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that such property in whole or in part directly or indirectly represents any person’s proceeds from an indictable offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $5 million and imprisonment for 14 years while the crime proceeds are also subject to confiscation.
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