Alleged triad leader ‘Shanghai Boy’ arrested for laundering more than HK$100 million
Police source says Kwok Wing-hung thought to have filtered money from illegal bookmaking through four bank accounts over five years
Alleged Hong Kong triad leader “Shanghai Boy” Kwok Wing-hung was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of laundering more than HK$100 million, police sources revealed.
One source said Kwok, 59, was accused of filtering the money from illegal bookmaking through four bank accounts in the city over five years.
Kwok was picked up shortly after daybreak when officers from the Narcotics Bureau’s financial investigation squad raided his Repulse Bay flat. He was taken to Aberdeen police station.
Wearing sunglassess, Kwok was seen inside an unmarked police car leaving the station before midday. He was then taken to police headquarters in Wan Chai.
Police said some documents were seized from Kwok’s apartment. He was accused of handling the proceeds of what was known or believed to represent an indictable offence, the official term for money laundering.
Another police source said Kwok was suspected of laundering more than HK$100 million through four local bank accounts between January 2007 and July 2012.
“The money is believed to be the proceeds of illegal bookmaking activities,” the source said.
By Wednesday night, Kwok was still being held for questioning and had not been charged. He was expected to he held overnight.
The investigation was still under way and police did not rule out more arrests.
Kwok is said to have been top leader of the Wo Shing Wo triad society from 1998 to 2000. Sources believe he is still a faction leader and has great influence in the group.
In August 2012, Kwok and two rural leaders, Tsang Shu-wo and Tang Lai-tung, were among 130 people arrested in an anti-triad crackdown against two gangs suspected of laundering HK$300 million. Kwok was never charged over the laundering allegation, and was released unconditionally in 2015.
In December of that year, he was punched in the face by a man in a cafe at The Peninsula hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, in what was thought to be a dispute over his mistress and financial problems with his Macau business.
In July 2016, he was arrested for criminal intimidation, conspiracy to wound with intent and conspiracy to blackmail after he returned to Hong Kong from Thailand. He was released on bail and told to report to police in January 2018.
Kwok became a familiar name to the public in 2012 when it was reported that he attended a dinner with aides of Leung Chun-ying – who was then running for chief executive.
The dinner prompted accusations that Leung and his team were colluding with triads, which they strongly denied.
Leung and his supporters said they did not know Kwok and had not invited him, and the Independent Commission Against Corruption later called off an investigation into the alleged collusion.