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Rafael Hui Si-yan

Rafael Hui sells stake in offshore company

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 June, 2015, 4:06pm

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Former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan sold all his stake in the only offshore company he owned three months before graft-busters arrested him on suspicion of breaching Hong Kong's anti-bribery laws, his business partner said.

David Lie Tai-chong, who set up RH & Lang Ltd with Hui in 2007, confirmed that Hui sold his 50 per cent share in the investment company, registered in the British Virgin Islands, around December, citing 'personal reasons'. Lie did not say who bought the shares.

The withdrawal from RH & Lang was apparently one of several moves Hui took to clear his portfolio in the lead-up to his arrest late last month. He also quit directorships at several companies and sold his last remaining race horse. Hui, the highest-ranking official or former official arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, has been released on bail. No charge has been levelled against him.

Lie, sole director of the company since its establishment, said Hui would 'remain as a consultant'.

He would not say if the Independent Commission Against Corruption had approached him to help with its investigation. 'I have sought legal opinions and cannot reveal further details,' said Lie, who owns the firm with one or more friends.

The company has attracted controversy before. Hui set it up with Lie four months after stepping down as chief secretary in June 2007, without consulting a government-appointed advisory committee. Political appointees need the committee's approval before taking up paid work within a year of leaving office - their so-called sanitisation period.

Lie said the company, which was meant to focus on investment opportunities in Taiwan and on the mainland, had never made a transaction. 'We looked into various investment opportunities in Taiwan and on the mainland,' said Lie, who is also chairman of a public agency known as the Hong Kong-Taiwan Business Co-operation Committee.

'When we set up the company, we decided to start operation once Hui's sanitisation period was over.'