TWO businessmen involved in a syndicate using counterfeit credit cards were jailed in the first case of its kind to be dealt with in the High Court. Former Grand Prix driver Jacky Lau Kwok-hung, 32, and Young Minh Quanh, 37, were found guilty by a jury of a joint charge of conspiracy to obtain the payment of monies and other property by using forged credit cards and sales vouchers. In sentencing the pair, Mr Justice Wong said they had damaged Hongkong's reputation by cheating many banks, financial institutions and card holders. Lau was also found guilty of conspiracy to offer an advantage to employees of hotels, restaurants and other businesses in Hongkong as a reward for providing credit card details of customers. Lau received a 51/2-year sentence while Young got three years. Lau's wife broke down in tears and shouted at ICAC officers outside the courtroom after the case. Mr Justice Woo said evidence showed that Lau was both a user and supplier if not the manufacturer of the forged credit cards. He found that Young played a lesser role. Senior Crown counsel Mr Bernard Ryan said it was the first case of its kind to be dealt with in the High Court. The two defendants were considered by the Crown to have played major roles in the syndicate. Mr Peter Nguyen, for Lau, said his client suffered from a stiff leg following an accident during the 1989 Macau Grand Prix. Any period of imprisonment would be harder on him, he said. He was married with two sons. Mr Nicholas Adams said Young had a son from a previous marriage and his present wife lived in Canada. He said his client was not the manufacturer, courier or supplier of the cards to others. The court heard that credit card companies had suffered multi-million dollar losses as a result of the activities of the syndicate using counterfeit cards manufactured in Malaysia and brought to Hongkong. Genuine data of bona fide card-holders encoded in the fake cards were supplied by hotel workers. Both defendants were members of the syndicate made up of Hongkong residents and Malaysians. They were party to the manufacturing of counterfeit Gold visa and Mastercards between January 1, 1988, and May 20, 1991. The defendants used the cards to obtain property. Alternatively, they offered shop owners or staff a percentage of the money, or simply bribed the staff.