Money Launders using Foreign Domestic workers accounts

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A project named “FIIB Project Anti-Money Laundering Month" from Nov. 21-Dec. 16, was announced to combat the problem at the FIIB kicked off ceremony held on Nov. 24.

Strengthening the anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism capabilities in Hong Kong, the Financial Investigation Division of Narcotics Bureau (FI NB) was detached from the Narcotics Bureau (NB) and has operated as the Financial Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (FIIB) with effect on June 1.

The FIIB reported in the press conference on Nov. 22, that in the case of money laundering using Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW) accounts, the biggest amount of money involved is approximately HK$2.4 million in criminal proceeds. They added that 34 out of 43 people arrested by the police were FDWs. The cases involved around HK$39 million in proceeds of crime.

Chief Inspector Michael Lai from FIIB said that domestic workers were approached through social media, and sometimes strangers approached them on the streets during their day off.

Last Nov. 7, two domestic workers filed a complaint to the Wan Chai Police station because a Filipino domestic worker named Jennifer T., lured them to open a bank account and applied for Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) card as an assurance that they will pay the money they borrowed. They met Jennifer T. through Facebook and offered to lend money to those in dire need of cash.

One of the complainants, Lorna, not her real name, accepted the offer in good faith because she needed the money at that time. When they met, Jennifer T. asked for the ATM card from Lorna before giving the HK$2,000 cash that Lorna is sending for her family in the Philippines.

Lorna received a bank statement after several days, and to her surprise, the bank transactions included deposits and withdrawals amounting to thousands of Hong Kong dollars. Lorna was scared to see her bank statement with many transactions on her account, considering she is not holding her ATM card. She reported it to Police station and the case is now under investigation.

At the Kowloon City Magistracy, C.A. Marquez’s case was heard the following day. She was charged with four cases against her of dealing with property known or believed to property as a representative from the proceeds of an indictable offense or “Money Laundering” under the Crimes and Serious Ordinance of the Hong Kong government. Her case will be heard on Dec. 28.

A project named “FIIB Project Anti-Money Laundering Month” from Nov. 21-Dec. 16, was announced to combat the problem at the FIIB kicked off ceremony held on Nov. 24.

Last Sunday, they started the education campaign by distributing pamphlets to foreign domestic workers in different places they stay during their day off.