Three charged in HKMEx investigation denied bail

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 May, 2013, 2:51pm
UPDATED : Friday, 24 May, 2013, 3:55pm

Three mainlanders charged with possessing false documents, including a cheque for US$460 million (HK$3.57 billion), in connection with a probe into the failed Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx) appeared in court and were denied bail on Friday.

Dai Linyi, 65, Li Shanrong, 49, and Lian Chunyan, 50, appeared in Kowloon City Court to face the charges stemming from their arrests on May 21.

Dai used a Chinese passport to travel to Hong Kong; Li and Lian used two-way permits.

They – and a fourth man, who is still being questioned but hasn’t been charged – were arrested by the police commercial crime bureau as part of its investigations into the dealings of HKMEx, a commodity trader.

HKMEx, which was founded by executive councillor Barry Cheung Chun-yuen, returned its licence to the Securities and Futures Commission and stopped operating after it could no longer show it had sufficient funds on hand to meet financial requirements.

Cheung has taken an infinite leave from all his public duties, including those on the Executive Council and as chairman of the Urban Renewal Authority. He is a close ally of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and headed his election campaign office last year.

Each of the three in court on Friday were found in possession of 40 suspected false documents. Dai is also charged with overstaying in Hong Kong for seven days.

The documents included letters of proof and acknowledgement issued supposedly by HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB).

One letter of acknowledgment found in Dai’s possession was a cheque for US$460 million (HK$3.57 billion) dated April 23 and issued by SCB.

He also possessed one guarantee dated April 23 issued by SCB to pay a sum to Zhang Jisheng and a proof of funds document issued by HSBC confirming that a sum of US$11 million was in an account held by Lian Chunren.

The court was not told how the documents were related to the HKMEx.

Li was said to be running a business in Dongguan while Lin was teaching in Beijing. There was no mention of Dai’s job.

The case was adjourned to July 19th.