As a swift followup to its recent arrests of six individuals (including five family members) allegedly involved in a money laundering scheme that moved more than $387 million, Hong Kong Customs arrested the director of a possible shell company for her alleged role in laundering more than $51 million (HK$400 million).
According to Hong Kong Customs, in connection with Operation Shadow Hunter, in which the first six individuals were arrested two weeks ago, Customs investigators reviewing documents seized in the operation found the company director’s business registration. The investigation found that “the suspect’s bank accounts were tied to more than 100 suspicious financial transactions involving about HK$400 million in 2018 and 2019.” Another source said that “the amount of money was unusual given the woman’s profile and background, adding that less than HK$1,000 [US$129] remained in her accounts.”
A law enforcement source also stated that “the woman knew the family members [previously arrested], and that a small portion of the HK$400 million had been transferred to multiple bank accounts owned by the family.” Most of the money was reportedly “transferred to bank accounts of other shell companies,” and that those bank accounts “were also linked to money laundering activities the family was allegedly involved in.” Investigators are still seeking to determine whether the same ringleader is behind the director and the family.
This latest arrest provides further confirmation that Operation Shadow Hunter is the largest money laundering investigation in Hong Kong’s history, and indicates that Hong Kong Customs likely has far more ground to cover in discovering the full scope and extent of this laundering operation.