UPDATE ON THE MONEY LAUNDERING OFFENCE IN HONG KONG

On 25 February, Dentons published an article saying that the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) has recently clarified the required mental element for the money laundering offence in Hong Kong.  In finding that the Court of Appeal had erred in its interpretation, the CFA reformulated the test for determining whether a defendant ‘has reasonable grounds to believe’ that property represented the proceeds of an indictable offence.  As a result of the decision, it is the case that where a “reasonable person” who shared the knowledge of the defendant would be bound to believe that the property was tainted, and thus the defendant should be convicted.  The fact that a defendant did not himself believe that the property was tainted would not be a defence but ‘may well be a mitigating factor when he is sentenced’.  The article warns that corporations should therefore be vigilant and have rigorous AML training and due diligence mechanisms in place to protect themselves from possible money laundering charges.  The article goes on to provide more detail of the case and the legislation involved.

https://hongkong.dentons.com/en/insights/articles/2020/february/25/update-on-money-laundering-offence-in-hong-kong

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Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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