Probe into 39 Conduit Road luxury flat sales ends

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 March, 2014, 3:15am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 March, 2014, 4:40am

An investigation into Henderson Land's controversial luxury 39 Conduit Road development has ended four years after police raided the company's offices over complaints of unfair and non-transparent transactions.

The company, run by billionaire tycoon Lee Shau-kee, said yesterday it "understands its assistance with the investigation is no longer required".

Asked why the investigation had been dropped, a police spokeswoman said: "After consulting the Secretary for Justice and conducting investigations, the police deemed that there wasn't enough evidence to make a criminal prosecution."

Henderson was accused of "faking transactions" for flats at the Mid-Levels in 2010 to artificially inflate prices and boost the market. Suspicions were aroused when it was revealed that 20 of the 24 publicised "sales" were never completed - including a HK$$439 million deal for the top-floor duplex billed as a world record price per square foot.

Buyers forfeited only 5 per cent of the purchase price when the deals collapsed and did not seek compensation. The buyers were shell companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, represented by the same law firm.

Police raided the company and a law firm on July 14, 2010, after much public pressure.

The company has asked police to return all documents and condemned "inaccurate" media reports on the case.

Lee's son, Peter Lee Ka-kit, a member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, made headlines last week for criticising University of Hong Kong pollsters for "publishing poll results that were unfavourable to the central and local governments at critical moments".