The Commercial Crime Bureau (CCB) yesterday arrested former Allied Group chairman Lee Ming Tee, a key figure in the most expensive corporate probe of a locally listed company, in connection with offences in the early 1990s involving conspiracy to defraud. A police statement last night said Mr Lee, 58, was arrested at 5pm yesterday at the Man Kam To border while attempting to cross into the mainland. He was detained for further investigation. The statement said the arrest - five years after the government concluded its investigation - followed an extensive CCB probe into 'a range of fraudulent activities perpetrated between 1990 and 1992 by former employees of Allied and their associates'. The CCB's probe began after Coopers & Lybrand partner Nicholas Allen - appointed by the Government in 1992 to look into the matters - discovered a number of possible criminal offences. Mr Allen's investigation cost taxpayers $46 million, the most expensive probe in local stock market history. A 600-page report by Mr Allen released in 1993, alleged Mr Lee was linked to a string of share trades between January 1990 and May 1992 to consolidate his control of Allied. The report alleged Mr Lee and his nephew Lee Seng-chay used a network of off-shore companies, such as a bank based in the Cook Islands, to evade Hong Kong share disclosure laws and avoid paying for share transactions. Mr Allen also identified former Allied finance director Ronald Tse Chu-fai, former Allied chief executive Chan Chun-on and Lee Seng-chay as key players in disguising the trades. Mr Allen said the actions were prejudicial to minority shareholders. Lee Ming Tee, who resigned from Allied in 1993, was publicly reprimanded by the stock exchange in April 1996 for breaching exchange rules relating to 'his undertakings with regard to directors'. Mr Tse is in police custody in Australia, pending extradition. He is to face 22 charges connected with offences such as conspiracy to defraud contrary to common law, publishing false statements by company directors, obtaining property by deception, obtaining services by deception and conspiracy to falsify accounts contrary to the Theft Ordinance. Mr Tse was a director of several companies within Allied Group until 1993. He left Hong Kong in early 1994 and has not returned. Mr Chan, however, resigned and left for Taiwan on August 13, 1992, one day after Mr Allen was appointed. Identifying Mr Chan as a close associate of Lee Ming Tee since 1985, Mr Allen believed Mr Chan 'had gone into hiding'. Police sources said Hong Kong police had notified Interpol to pursue Mr Chan. Mr Chan and Mr Tse were censured by the stock exchange in 1995 for breaching listing rules. The exchange's statement at the time said Mr Tse and Mr Chan had demonstrated 'lack the character and integrity expected of a director of a listing issuer'.