Two Hong Kong men who helped a Canadian drug syndicate funnel more than $173 million through Hong Kong banks were officially declared part of organised crime by a sentencing judge yesterday. Jailing Chan Kok-hung, 47, for six years and eight months and Lin Xin-nian, 42, for five years, Deputy High Court Judge Alan Wright made the declaration in accordance with the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance, paving the way for a confiscation order, which targeted the $10.5 million Chan made in the scheme. Deputy Judge Wright made no move to increase the sentence, an option available for organised-crime activities. In sentencing the men, who pleaded guilty, he said there was a 'substantial international aspect' to the case. 'To fail to reflect this [in sentencing] . . . would be seen to diminish Hong Kong's commitment to combating transnational crime,' he said. 'Those who deal with the proceeds of any crime must appreciate how seriously these offences are regarded. Be aware that such conduct will be met with robust sentences,' the judge said. The court heard the offence took place between January 1997 and June 1999. Canadian authorities were alerted to the scheme during an investigation into a suspected drug syndicate operating out of Vancouver and Toronto. During surveillance in Canada, Lin was seen with a man suspected of being involved in a scheme to courier cash. When stopped at Chek Lap Kok on October 19, 1998, he was found to have C$380,000 (HK$1.9 million) stuffed in his luggage and jacket pocket. The money was later confiscated by the government. After Lin's release from custody in the SAR, Canadian police intercepted a phone call in which Chan could be heard telling a man believed to be Lin's contact in Canada that the courier had been arrested. Following further surveillance, Canadian police seized 70kg of heroin on November 26, 1998. Police found Chan had channelled $173 million of the syndicate's money through 27 Hong Kong bank accounts held by him and his wife.