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China-Style Corruption In Hong Kong?

From the China Compliance Digest (Issue No. 24: July 16, 2012):

Raymond and Thomas Kwok, the billionaire brothers at the helm of Asian development titan Sun Hung Kai Properties, have been charged with eight bribery-related offenses by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

The Kwoks stand accused of conspiring with two other men to provide favors and $4.4 million in unsecured loans to Rafael Hui, formerly the number-two official in Hong Kong’s government.

The Kwoks’ alleged co-conspirators and Hui himself are facing corruption charges as well. In a statement to the press, Raymond Kwok maintained he and his brother were innocent of the charges.

Sun Hung Kai announced the company has no immediate plans to replace the Kwok brothers, who are currently out on bail. Proceedings in the case are expected to resume on 12 October.

Incredibly, this major development in a landmark case was not the only real-estate-related ICAC maneuver to make headlines last week. Hong Kong’s development minister Mak Chai-kwong tendered his resignation on 12 July after just two weeks in office. Mak and his wife, along with assistant highways director Tsang King-man and his wife, have been detained by the ICAC for alleged abuse of government housing allowances. 

A professor of social sciences at a Hong Kong university told Bloomberg that many Hong Kongers were anxious over what they perceive to be Chinese-style corruption spreading over the border.

Sources: CNN, Reuters, Bloomberg

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