Head of Chinese Estates Holdings Found Guilty of Bribery and Money Laundering
Joseph Lau, considered to be one of Hong Kong’s richest people and the head of Chinese Estates Holding, was found guilty of bribery and money laundering relating to a real estate deal in Macau by the Court of First Instance in Macau.
Lau and businessman Steven Lo were both convicted in the case relating to a bribe of HK$20 million paid at the time to public works chief Ao Man-long. The bribe was paid to secure real estate for a housing development close to the airport.
Both men were not present at the verdict and sentencing where they both received five years and three months jail terms.
Fortunately for Lau and Lo, Hong Kong does not have any extradition agreements with Macau and so long as they both do not enter Macau, they should avoid any jail time.
On announcement of the ruling, stocks in Chinese Estates Holding were suspended in Hong Kong. Lau subsequently resigned from his position of chairman and chief executive. His son Ming-wai Lau was appointed Chairman and acting CEO.
Both Joesph Lau and Steven Lo have filed applications to appeal the verdict.