Anti-money Laundering - Project AccFencers

Crime Matters

Defrauding Tricks

  • Recently, the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit (“JFIU”) received public enquiry over a fraudulent “stop order” purportedly issued by JFIU. The order requested the recipient to pay a sum of fee in order to obtain a certificate to prove the legitimacy of the remittance that he/she has made, so that the transaction could proceed.

Our Advice

  • The JFIU has never issued such order, or any similar order directing recipient to pay for a fee to effect any financial transaction.
  • Genuine law enforcement officers will not request you to settle any fees or ask for your online banking account number or password for investigation of cases;
  • Even if the scammers are able to provide your personal information or remittance details and send you their law enforcement credentials, it does not necessarily mean that they are genuine law enforcement officers. Scammers can obtain the personal information of the public through open access, security loopholes and even illegal sources;
  • Do not disclose your personal information to strangers, including your HKID number, address, online banking accounts and PIN codes;
  • Verify the identity of the contact by calling the relevant organisation directly – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. Do not use the contact details provided in the message sent to you.
  • Do not click on unknown hyperlinks or input any information;
  • Remind your relatives and friends to stay vigilant against deception;
  • If in doubt, please call the “Anti-Scam Helpline 18222” for advice and consider report the matter to the Police.

Financial Intelligence and Investigation Bureau x “Project AccFencers”

To enhance public awareness of anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism, the Financial Intelligence and Investigation Bureau has rolled out an anti-money laundering programme, namely the "Project AccFencers”, since November 2021.

The title "Acc” stands for "Account” and "Fencers” implies attack and defence in a fencing game. The project rallies the efforts of all sectors and the public to combat money laundering and safeguard Hong Kong’s status as one of the safest and healthiest international financial centres in the world.

In 2023, the "AccFencers" set out again. To enhance public understanding of money laundering offences, three mascots namely "Don’t Rent", "Don’t Lend" and "Don’t Sell" designed by the Financial Intelligence and Investigation Bureau are there to remind the public not to rent, lend or sell their accounts to others as these may be abused for unlawful purposes. On the other hand, veteran actress Cinda HUI Sze Man continues to promote the Anti-money Laundering Month. Her role as Isabella in a television drama showed a hit. Following Isabella’s rap song to alert the public not to fall into money laundering traps, a mini concert was also held to thank for her fans' supports.

2023 "AccFencers" Events

From 9 January to 17 February 2023, alongside with seminars and workshops, promotional videos and leaflets will be published and released on various platforms to disseminate the message of anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism.

 



AML Albums

2022-12-15【Operation FLYINGSWORD– 22 persons arrested for Conspiracy to Bookmaking and Money Laundering】

Acting upon intelligence, the Financial Intelligence and Investigation Bureau and the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau unveiled a local syndicate running a gambling mobile application and recruiting stooges to open bank accounts for receiving bets and processing suspected crime proceeds. Since July 2019, the syndicate used at least 51 local traditional and virtual bank accounts to received bets amounting to HKD 7.75 million and process suspected crime proceeds amounting to HKD 186 million, including fraudulent payments from online investment fraud, pretend official telephone deception and e-shopping fraud. After in-depth investigation, the Financial Intelligence and Investigation Bureau and the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau mounted an arrest operation codenamed FLYINGSWORD between 2022-12-14 and 2022-12-15 to raid an operation centre in a commercial building unit and residential premises over the territories, resulting in arrests of 22 persons for “Conspiracy to Bookmaking”, “Conspiracy to Money Laundering” and “Money Laundering” with seizure of cash totaling HKD 6.6 million, 12 computers, 50 mobile phones and two luxurious cars.

Click into the video to learn more about the case.



2022-12-06【Operation FARREACH– 13 persons arrested for Conspiracy to Money Laundering and Obtaining Property by Deception】

Acting upon intelligence, the Financial Intelligence and Investigation Bureau unveiled a local syndicate recruiting stooges to open bank accounts for processing suspected crime proceeds. Since March 2022, the syndicate used at least 104 local virtual bank accounts to process suspected crime proceeds amounting to HKD 186 million, including fraudulent payments to boosting sales scam, investment fraud, e-shopping fraud and romance scam. After in-depth investigation, an arrest operation codenamed FARREACH turned overt on 2022-12-05 and raided an operation centre in an industrial building unit and residential premises over the territories, resulting in arrests of 13 persons for “Conspiracy to Money Laundering” and “Obtaining Property by Deception” with seizure of a significant amount of mobile phones, SIM cards and bank cards.

Click into the video to learn more about the case.



2022-10-20【Operation MINEPELLET – 7 persons arrested for Conspiracy to Money Laundering】

Acting upon intelligence, the Financial Intelligence and Investigation Bureau unveiled an illegal syndicate providing online gambling service and recruiting gamblers on social media. The syndicate also recruited stooges to open bank accounts for processing suspected crime proceeds. Since April 2022, the syndicate used at least 25 local virtual bank accounts to process suspected crime proceeds amounting to HKD 40 million. After in-depth investigation, an arrest operation codenamed MINEPELLET turned overt on 19 October 2022 and 7 persons were arrested for “Conspiracy to Money Laundering” with seizure of a significant amount of mobile phones, computers, bank cards, etc.

Click into the video to learn more about the case.



2022-09-26【Court Judgement • Confiscation of HKD 70M Crime Proceeds】

Since June 2019, a fund-raising platform was found asking for public donation via social media platform, proclaiming the received funds would be used to provide legal financial support to those arrested during Operation TIDERIDER. Financial analysis transpired that the public donation, amounting to HKD 80 million, was deposited into a company account of a private company.

In-depth financial investigation revealed that, out of the HKD 80 million public donation, only a small portion of around HKD 450,000 were paid to those Operation TIDERIDER arrestees or related persons, while the remaining funds were either withdrawn by cash or channeled to other personal accounts of the abovementioned company account holder and his three accomplices.

Having secured the prima facie of money laundering case in relation to the crowd funding activities on Spark Alliance platform, the four identified operators were arrested in December 2019 with around HKD 70 million crime proceeds frozen. Later in Oct 2020 and Mar 2021, two arrested persons were found leaving Hong Kong respectively while on bail and had never returned. Subsequently, according to section 8, Cap 455 of Hong Kong Law, police applied to the High Court for confiscating the related assets. In September 2022, confiscation order to forfeit the crime proceeds of HKD 70 million was granted at the High Court.

Click into the video to learn more about the case.


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【AML Month - Operation WISEWORD Summary】
2022-08-19

【Operation CLOSECIRCLE - 13 persons arrested for Conspiracy to Money Laundering】
2022-08-05

【Operation NEATVICTORY - 7 persons arrested for Money Laundering】
2022-07-30

【Operation GOLDPLATTER - 10 persons arrested for Incitement to Money Laundering】
2022-07-19

【Operation WARRIORBOLT – 16 persons arrested for money laundering】
2022-06-08

【Hong Kong in joint operation with Macau against money laundering with 22 arrested】
2022-05-25

【4 persons arrested for fraudulent use of consumption vouchers】
2022-04-15

【3 persons arrested for encashment of consumption vouchers】
2022-04-09

【Operation MAKEFAITH – 8 persons arrested for laundering crime proceeds of HKD 90 million】
2022-03-26

【跨境聯合行動「獵狼」• 拘捕9人瓦解「唱高散貨」集團】
2021-12-21


【反洗黑錢月 •「雋語」行動總結】
2021-12-21

【 銀斧行動 - 十四人涉清洗黑錢逾三億港元被捕 】
2021-12-2


【 拘捕14人 • 犯罪集團涉洗黑錢超過3億8千萬元 • 案情簡報 】
2021-11-22

拘捕二人 • 涉洗黑錢及串謀詐騙600萬元 • 案情簡報
2021-10-31


拘捕32人 • 集團騙「百分百擔保個人特惠貸款」及進行其他詐騙共涉約5千5百萬元 • 案情簡報
2021-10-10

「耀斑」• 本港和內地跨境聯合反洗黑錢行動 • 案情簡報
2021-09-08


拘九人 • 涉設立海外賭博網站及洗黑錢 • 案情簡報
2021-08-27

拘捕29人 • 涉操控本地傭工洗黑錢超過2700萬 • 案情簡報
2021-07-28

拘捕13人 • 跨境打擊洗黑錢及非法賭博集團行動 • 警方記者會
2021-06-27

拘捕11人 • 詐騙集團涉「串謀詐騙」及「洗黑錢」超過2,400萬 • 案情簡報
2021-05-15

警方記者會 • 打擊網上購物騙案行動拘69人
2021-04-30

拘捕16人 • 涉「串謀收受賭注」及「洗黑錢」罪 • 案情簡報
2021-04-13

拘捕24人 • 信用卡詐騙集團涉「串謀詐騙」及「洗黑錢」超過8,500萬 • 案情簡報
2021-04-02

拘捕一人 • 挪用眾籌資金購買名牌手袋等物品 • 案情簡報
2021-03-26


拘捕十一人 • 涉嫌操控股價及洗黑錢 • 案情簡報
2021-03-05

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AML Classroom


AML Publications

  • (By HKMA)
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Common Modus Operandi

Virtual Trading Scam
Crime syndicates lure citizens into opening accounts in various banks and provide the accounts for receiving fund transfers from unknown individuals. Account holders were instructed to use the funds to purchase cryptocurrency and transfer it to a designated wallet. In fact, the funds are proceeds of crime and the bank accounts were being used for money laundering purpose.


Employment Trap
Fraudsters make use of social media platforms to post “quick cash jobs” recruitment advertisements. Job seekers are indeed lured to provide their bank accounts, which will be used by fraudsters as stooge accounts for laundering proceeds of crime. Previous cases suggested that fraudsters claimed that accommodation and beverage would be provided in job recruitment posts. Instead, job seekers would be detained in hotel rooms for days, during which their bank accounts were being used for money laundering purpose. Job seekers should beware of common employment traps and always be cautious.


Money Mule Scam
Crime syndicates make use of social media platforms to lure citizens into lending or selling their bank accounts, claiming it is “safe and legal”, but are in fact using the bank accounts as stooge accounts for money laundering. The personal data of the account holder may also be used by lawbreakers for illegal purposes.


Online Romance Scam
Swindlers approach victims on social media platforms and develop an intimate relationship with them to earn their trust. Swindlers will then ask victims to help set up a bank account, claiming it is for investment purpose, but are in fact using the account for money laundering.


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Anti-Money Laundering Micro Film

【 反洗黑錢月 • 唔租,唔借,唔賣呀】
2022-08-25
【 反洗黑錢月 • 唔租,唔借,唔賣呀】
2022-08-25
【 反洗黑錢月 • 唔租,唔借,唔賣呀】
2022-08-25
【 反洗黑錢月 • 唔租,唔借,唔賣呀】
2022-08-25
【 黑錢洗白白,犯案手法好古惑 】
2022-08-25
【 財富情報及調查科 · 反洗黑錢月宣傳片強勢登場 】
2021-11-25
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Relevant Legislation on Money Laundering

Under section 25(1) of the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance, Cap 405 and section 25(1) of the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance, Cap 455, Money laundering is an offence for a person who, knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that any property which, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly represents any person’s proceeds of drug trafficking or indictable offence, deals with that property.

Maximum penalty is a HK$ 5,000,000 fine and 14-year imprisonment.



Terrorist Financing

Under the following provisions of UNATMO Cap.575, it is an offence if a person:

  • provides or collects property, with intention or knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe, that the property, in whole or in part be used or will be used to commit one or more terrorist acts (section 7)
  • makes property or financial services available to or for the benefit of terrorist or terrorist associate. (section 8)

Maximum penalty is a fine and 14-year imprisonment.

UNATMO Cap. 575 has been fully implemented since 1st January 2011. Under section 6 of Cap. 575 the Secretary for Security is authorized to freeze the property of terrorists or of persons connected with terroristsection It is an offence under section 14 if a person knowingly contravenes a notice under section 6(1) or contravenes a requirement under section 6(7).

To read more about these sections of the legislation, please follow this link to the explanatory notes of section 6 and section 14 of Cap. 575 or this link to the Hong Kong E-Legislation.

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AML Infopack

Joint Financial Intelligence Unit Publications

For JFIU publications, please follow this link to the JFIU webpage.


Statistics

For statistics of the conviction, assets recovery and suspicious transaction report, please follow this link to the JFIU webpage.


Suspicious Transaction Report

For details of the suspicious transaction report, please follow this link to the JFIU webpage.


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