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23 February 2024

Man jailed over massive Hong Kong fraud


The trial over one of Hong Kong's biggest ever money laundering scams saw a mainland Chinese man jailed on Wednesday for a fraud involving US$1.69 billion, according to court officials and press reports.

The city's high court sentenced Luo Juncheng to 10 and a half years in jail for "dealing with property known or reasonably believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence", a judiciary spokeswoman told AFP.

Luo, a 22-year-old school dropout from neighbouring Guangdong province, had laundered around HK$50 million (US$6.4 million) every day between August 2009 and April 2010, according to reports quoting testimony at the trial.

Some HK$13.1 billion ($1.69 billion) passed through his bank account during the period, the Standard newspaper reported.

It was not clear where the funds came from.

The legal spokeswoman could not confirm the details of the case while a law firm representing Luo refused to comment when contacted by AFP.

Handing down the sentence, Judge Esther Toh said sentencing for money laundering needed to be revised, with the number of cases rising in recent years, according to the Standard.

Under current Hong Kong laws, anyone found guilty of money laundering faces up to 14 years in jail.