Australia returns fugitive broker to face 47 charges

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 June, 2012, 12:00am


A runaway director from a collapsed brokerage, who was extradited to Hong Kong from Australia last week will appear in court today to face charges of money laundering and fraud.

A Hong Kong police spokesman said the 56-year-old woman, identified only as Fong, was extradited from Australia at the request of the Commercial Crime Bureau on Friday and was arrested when she arrived at Chek Lap Kok airport.

She will appear in Eastern Court accused of one count of money laundering, 24 counts of theft and 22 counts of fraud.

She is believed to be Fong Shik-yee, the wife of Kwok Wood-yan, both directors of Tiffit Securities, a small, 20-year-old brokerage with about 700 cash clients before it was banned from trading in July 2006 by the Securities and Futures Commission after the finance watchdog discovered clients' assets were missing.

Kwok was arrested in August 2006 and jailed the next year for three years and four months for laundering more than HK$19 million of his clients' money. But Fong disappeared.

Kwok's licence was revoked by the SFC in March 2007 when he was banned from re-entering the industry for life.

The watchdog said it had taken into account that the commission had disciplined him twice before for other malpractices.

The court heard that the SFC had received a report from 445 Tiffit clients who suffered a loss of shares worth about HK$50 million.

The police spokesman said Fong allegedly transferred clients' shares to other accounts and traded them without authorisation.

Tiffit was among three small brokers shut in 2006 after investigations revealed theft of client assets. The other two were Whole Win and Wing Yip.