Lai See

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 June, 2012, 12:00am


Long Hair plays footsie with Hong Kong police

There's a story circulating around the senior ranks of Hong Kong's police force that the League of Social Democrats, led by the ever industrious 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung, intends to protest outside the central government's liaison office in Western, hopefully while President Hu Jintao is inside on Sunday July 1 - handover day, or, as it more formally described, Special Administrative Region Establishment Day.

However, the party has assured the police, so the story goes, that the demonstration will be over well before 9pm.

Why is this, they wondered, looking for a political angle. Not so - the demonstrators want to have enough time to get to a television set to watch the final of the Euro 2012 competition. Watch someone else put the boot in for a change.

Life on the ocean waves

Monday was 'the day of the seafarer', June 25 having been designated as such on the last day of the International Maritime Organisation's Diplomatic Conference held in Manila two years ago. In a statement, the Hong Kong Shipowners' Association notes the day was one to thank and pay respect to seafarers serving on the almost 50,000 ships trading worldwide for their dedication in delivering goods and passengers safely to their destinations. There are altogether some two million seamen, with most from the Philippines, India and mainland China, and most of the rest from Indonesia, Myanmar, Russia and Ukraine.

There are also 178 still being kept hostage by Somalian pirates.

This year the theme chosen by the International Maritime Organisation is 'It came by sea, and I can't live without it.' This is what they say in Neptune II in Wan Chai when the US fleet sails into town.

A considered position

The case of Ramesh Sadhwani was back in front of the Securities and Futures Appeals Tribunal recently. Sadhwani, it will be recalled, was found guilty of operating a Ponzi scheme between 2004 and 2009 while working as a Citicorp private banker.

He told his clients, mainly Indians living in Hong Kong, that he could secure them returns of 18.5 per cent annually while guaranteeing their principal. Citi was fined HK$6 million by the SFC for failing to notice the scheme and Sadhwani fled Hong Kong. He was banned for life from working in the finance industry by the SFC tribunal in October last year.

This was subsequently reduced in March this year to a ban of 10 years, but Sadhwani was ordered to pay the SFC's costs within 21 days. This he has not done, claiming that had he known that if he was unsuccessful in his application for review, he might be ordered to pay costs, he 'might have considered his position'.

Chairman of the tribunal, High Court Judge Andrew Wright, wrote in his submission: 'Such a submission is naive.' Doubtless, Sadhwani's clients felt the same way. If they knew they were going to be defrauded, they would also have 'considered their position'.

Software hits the fan at RBS

Every time RBS hits the headlines it seems to be for the wrong reasons. Harrowing stories of suffering caused by its huge computer glitch continue to emerge. The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday that a defendant in a court case had to spend the weekend in jail because the RBS failure prevented his bail money from being processed. A judge in a separate court decided to grant bail even though the same problem occurred, the newspaper reported. The glitch affected 17 million customers at RBS and two of its subsidiaries, NatWest and Ulster Bank, after a software update froze part of the banks' computer systems last Wednesday, and has affected almost every conceivable type of financial transaction.

The newspaper quoted RBS insiders as saying the problems were caused when technical staff tried to update CA-7 software, which is responsible for ensuring payments are processed overnight. The CA-7 software used to be supervised by Britain-based staff, but they were among more than 1,000 technical staff made redundant since 2010, and the system is now managed remotely by staff in Chennai, Hyderabad and New Delhi.

The situation took a turn for the worse yesterday when customers were sent a fake e-mail, purporting to be from RBS boss Stephen Hester, apologising for the problems at the bank and noting that a 'security upgrade' requires them to update their details. But if customers follow the link in the e-mail, they are taken to a highly realistic copy of the NatWest website. If they enter their account details on the fake site, the fraudsters will be able to log in to their account and steal all their cash.