Former Hong Kong Leader Donald Tsang loses appeal

On 20 July, former Chief Executive of Hong Kong Donald Tsang was once again convicted of misconduct and returned to prison. However, his sentence was reduced from 20 months to 12 months by the Court of Appeal. Tsang was found guilty last year of misconduct in public office after failing to disclose his plans to lease a luxury flat in Shenzhen from a major investor in a broadcaster to which his government later granted a broadcast licence. "It defies belief that someone with the applicant's long experience and background in government service could have overlooked the need to make a declaration of interest in these circumstances," the court said. Tsang filed a final appeal on 27 July.

K ICAC chief warns of corruption in belt and road countries

In early July, the head of Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption ("ICAC") warned local investors to beware of rampant corruption in some Belt and Road countries. ICAC commissioner Simon Peh Yun-Lu pledged the support of the agency, one of the world's most respected and effective anti-corruption agencies, in helping investors, and Belt and Road countries themselves, with graft training. Peh's statement highlights the ICAC's scrutiny of deals in certain countries where bribery and corruption are widespread. For more information, see our bulletin here.

SFC proposes revisions to AML/CTF guidelines ahead of FATF evaluation

On 5 July 2018, the Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC") issued a consultation paper on proposals to amend the Guideline on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Main Guideline) and the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Guideline issued by the Securities and Futures Commission for Associated Entities (Guideline for AEs).

This is one of many initiatives taken by the Hong Kong government and the financial services regulators (including the SFC) in recent years to enhance the anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorists ("AML/CTF") regime in Hong Kong, in light of the upcoming evaluation of the regime by the Financial Action Task Force ("FATF"). Click here to read our full bulletin.