THE Bank of Credit and Commerce (BCC) bankers should consider themselves lucky they were not in the dock, said Mr Justice Bewley, summing up the trial. At least four BCC witnesses were accused of conspiring to assist drugs baron Law Kin-man hide profits from the massive smuggling ring. One of them, Chan Yeung-yum, is now senior vice-president of Lippo Group Marketing Ltd. When Law was arrested, BCC told police he was a favoured client and revealed he held 20 accounts at Hong Kong branches. But detectives and accountants uncovered a staggering 287 BCC accounts controlled by Law under different identities. When prosecutor Michael Lunn QC, opened the case in February he told the jury Law's relationship with the discredited bank was 'an eye-opener'. He said the way Law was allowed to operate accounts showed 'a flagrant disregard for the most basic sensible banking practices'. The accounts were held at the Kowloon branch, managed by Philip Wong Kar-chai, the San Po Kong branch managed by Leung Hin-sang, and the Nathan Road branch managed by Alex Chen Tsang-man. Law's name did not appear on account records, but many were marked 'refer to Y. Y. Chan', a reference to BCC group manager Chan Yeung-yum. Lo Chak-man's counsel, Alan Hoo QC, said the Crown had 'prosecuted the wrong people'. He claimed BCC bosses 'had breached every single rule' and 'must have been in active collusion with Law Kin-man'. 'Our view is a lot of those bankers should have been prosecuted,' he said. But Mr Lunn said it was irrelevant to the trial whether the bankers should have been charged. 'It may well be many other people ought to join these people in the dock . . . but that's not a decision for the jury,' he added. In his evidence, Superintendent Kenny Ip Lau-chun agreed investigations had confirmed Philip Wong was laundering Law's money. He said with hindsight the bankers should have been treated as suspects at an early stage. Mr Wong, who could have faced two charges of helping another to retain the proceeds of drug trafficking, was granted immunity in return for testifying. Mr Hoo said there was very strong evidence the Kowloon manager had also been engaged in 'massive fraud and theft' from Law's accounts. The jury heard Mr Wong swiped tens of millions of dollars after his client's arrest. But Superintendent Ip replied: 'We have discussed this case with the Legal Department and they said there should be no prosecution against Philip Wong.' Alex Chen, who was suspected of corruption, was offered immunity, but turned it down. Mr Chen and Mr Leung were both declared hostile witnesses after contradicting statements made to police. Mr Leung's boss at BCC's San Po Kong branch, Alex Tsang Kwok-keung, refused to come back from Canada to testify in the court case. The managers who did give evidence said they thought the accounts were being used for tax evasion. They denied knowing Law's money came from drug trafficking. Mr Wong and Mr Leung have since set up as accountancy advisers. Mr Chen is in private business. Mr Justice Bewley told the jury BCC was an 'incredible place' and said the bankers' evidence was often 'confused and mendacious'. 'You may think Y. Y. Chan and the other managers have been economical with the truth. All were forced to admit at some stage that banking regulations were breached,' the judge said. 'Were they breached solely to attract Law Kin-man's vast capital - it could be argued that unless they were prepared to breach rules Law Kin-man would take his business elsewhere - or were they all in it for illegal commission which they denied?'