Police ordered HSBC to freeze Spark Alliance asset without a court order

Sources said, although the court had not issued any order to freeze the related accounts of Spark Alliance, the police had already invoked the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 455) to instruct HSBC to withheld Spark Alliance’s 60 million dollar assets, causing the account to freeze. A lawyer pointed out, unless the police have reasonable follow-up actions, what they have done caused unreasonable damages to civilian assets.

The police need to follow-up, including pressing formal charges to show that it is reasonable to freeze the assets. Solicitor LAM Bing Cheung said: “in Switzerland if the government freezes civilian assets but did not follow-up, or when the police are unable to press charges, the government needs to compensate for damages. After all, the prolonged freezing of large sums of money causes damages to the citizens. But Hong Kong does not have any regulation to protect the rights of the holders of frozen assets.”

Legislative council member Kenneth LEUNG Kai-Cheong says, although the government needs to deal with money laundering activities, the police only have flimsy arguments so far. He is afraid that the perception of this incident will hurt the status of Hong Kong as an international financial center.

GM36

Source: Guardians of Hong Kong

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Jan. 05, 2020