Six arrested over Smart Holiday audit fraud claim

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 January, 2013, 4:41am

Six key members of a debt-laden travel agency were arrested yesterday for conspiracy to defraud over an alleged attempt to forge an audit report.

Smart Holiday, which organised tours to the mainland and other destinations in Southeast Asia, closed its branches across the city early this month after its licence was cancelled by the Travel Agents Registry - leaving 1,900 travellers out of pocket.

The registry cancelled the licence on January 8 because the agency had outstanding debt of HK$50 million and the registry doubted it could continue offering tour services.

Police said the five men and one woman arrested, aged between 30 and 50, had allegedly forged revenue of at least HK$19 million in an audit report for investors last year, claiming it came from partnerships with mainland tour service providers. Police believe the agency intended to apply for loans with the forged audit report and to use it to support its licence renewal, a spokesman said.

It is understood those arrested are the firm's director Tsang Wai-hin, 40; ex-director Yung Sing-wah, 30; his brother and general manager Yung Yee-fai, 41; director Lee Yee-man, 30; accountant Keung Fu-kau, 49; and sales manager Lam Yat-ming, 50. Lee, who is known for presenting soccer shows on Now TV, is the girlfriend of Yung Yee-fai. The six were all detained, but no charges have been laid.

A source said a Commercial Crime Bureau investigation was under way after a report from the travel registry, which has received more than 500 complaints from the agency's customers.