Tuesday, December 1, 2015   

Mainland woman held in HKMEx probe

Beatrice Siu

Monday, May 27, 2013

A fifth suspect has been arrested in connection with the failed trading platform set up by former executive councillor Barry Cheung Chun-yuen.

Cheung resigned from all his government posts on Friday, including as chairman of the Urban Renewal Authority, a day after three people appeared in court charged with using a false instrument in connection with his Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange.

A fourth suspect has been released on police bail and ordered to report back in mid-July.

The fifth suspect, a mainland woman named Zheng, was detained as she tried to leave Hong Kong for Macau yesterday afternoon. She was expected to be held overnight and likely to be charged with using a false instrument.

The three people charged are Dai Linyi, 65, Li Shanrong, 49, and Lian Chunyan, 50, who were arrested last week.

Another executive councillor, meanwhile, says the government should screen both the personal finances of future Exco members and the finances of corporations with which they are connected. Cheung Chi-kong also said he had known for a year that HKMEx was not doing well.

The fact the company was in trouble was in itself not a serious matter since running deficits is normal in the commercial world, Cheung said.

"Borrowing money or entering into financial arrangements is common," he said. "The personal financial status of an Exco member is another matter."

He feels it will be better if in future the government sets up a mechanism that will take into account no
t only a member's personal finances but also the finances of companies which he or she controls and their affiliates.

Cheung also expects the Independent Commission Against Corruption probe on another Exco member, Franklin Lam Fan-keung, to be completed soon.

Lam has been on leave for the past six months following a probe into the controversial sale of his two luxury flats at Mid-Levels.

Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, a former executive councillor, said Exco's administrative system has failed to perform properly and should be reviewed.

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