The trial of a foreign-exchange trading gang, led by a Hong Kong man, started yesterday in Shenzhen over charges of illegally raising money for currency transactions totalling more than 5.4 billion yuan (HK$6.14 billion), media reports said. The gang leader, surnamed Ho, had raised more than 6.6 million yuan from 203 people to set up three companies in Shenzhen since December 2004 that engaged in currency trading, the Guangzhou Daily reported. The prosecutor told Luohu District People's Court that the gang of 12 had introduced the clients to GFX Capital Markets, an overseas foreign-exchange company. The gang opened several accounts with GFX, allowing them to help clients make transactions through GFX's online trading platform. In return, GFX paid the gang US$40 for every transaction. The prosecutor said GFX asked for US$100,000 for each transaction and the gang handled nearly 5,000 transactions, involving more than 2.5 billion yuan. The report said Ho also introduced his Shenzhen business model in Kunming, Yunnan , illegally raising money for transactions totalling more than 3.4 billion yuan. The gang avoided detection by masquerading as a software company. Terry Freeman, a director of GFX Capital Markets, was detained in February as part of a money-laundering investigation involving US$57 million, Bloomberg reported.