Three mainland businessmen who were arrested for holding bogus bank documents with a face value of more than HK$90 billion admitted the documents were not obtained from the banks in question, the District Court heard yesterday.
But one of the three said the 32 sets of documents - seized by police investigating the failed Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx) - were marked as samples so they did not consider them fakes.
Dai Linyi, 55, Li Shanrong, 49, and Lian Chunren, 50, have denied three charges of possessing false documents.
"All the documents were marked as samples," Dai told Judge Johnny Chan Jong-herng. "We only used them as working samples so those documents in our view are real."
The documents included "proof of funds" letters and guarantee and confirmation letters.
Prosecutor Louisa Lai said police arrested the trio on May 21 last year in an operation at the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong. They first found Dai in the hotel's business centre with documents showing US$560 million in a cheque transaction and proof of funds.
More documents covering amounts totalling more than US$11 billion in the names of Lian and some companies were found in a search of Li and Lian's rooms, the court heard.
Dai pleaded guilty earlier to one count of overstaying, for which Chan adjourned sentence until the end of the trial, which continues today.