HK$30m bail case guarantor warned he might lose HK$5m after money launderer fled

Businessman faces losing HK$5m if he can't convince magistrate he did his best to ensure alleged money launderer did not abscond

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 March, 2014, 3:59am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 March, 2014, 9:19am

One of two guarantors of a woman charged with money laundering who jumped bail of HK$30 million in January appeared in Tsuen Wan Court yesterday.

Both Hongkongers have been summoned to court to explain the disappearance of Zhao Danna, 22, who went missing while awaiting trial for allegedly laundering HK$10 billion using eight Bank of China accounts.

Sidney Siu Yim-kwan and fellow guarantor Chiu Duen-shing face losing HK$5 million each - HK$1 million in cash and HK$4 million in sureties.

"It is the guarantor's role to guarantee a defendant returns to court," acting principal magistrate Joseph To Ho-shing told businessman Siu, 66, who appeared yesterday without a lawyer.

To told Siu to return to Tsuen Wan Court on April 7 with Chiu to explain how they had tried to ensure Zhao would return, in order for the court to decide if or how much of their sureties would be forfeited.

Chiu appeared last week to obtain approval to adjourn his hearing to April 7. Zhao was required to live at his address as part of her bail conditions.

The court was not told her relationship to the pair.

Zhao, an unemployed two-way permit holder, was remanded in custody in June.

In December she was bailed on HK$30 million, including the cash and sureties provided by the two men.

She stopped reporting to the police on January 7 and failed to appear in court on February 19. To issued an arrest warrant and ordered her bail money be forfeited.

Zhao is charged with one count of dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence, for dealing with HK$8 million using a Bank of China account under her name from December 6-21, 2012.

The prosecution asked to add seven other charges on February 19 but was prevented from doing so formally as she was absent.

Prosecutor Jennifer Fok yesterday confirmed Zhao faces eight money-laundering charges totalling HK$10 billion.

Another young mainlander holds Hong Kong's money-laundering record - HK$13.1 billion.

Luo Juncheng, 22, was jailed for 10-1/2 years last year. He made 4,800 deposits and 3,500 transfers through a Chiyu Bank account between August 2009 and April 2010.