SJM paid HK$62 mln to Carson Yeung
Bank accounts linked to the money-laundering trial of businessman Carson Yeung Ka Sing showed a payment of HK$62.45 million (US$8.04 million) by casino operator SJM, reported Hong Kong media.
SJM’s chief executive Ambrose So Shu Fai was asked about the report at an event in Macau on Friday.
“As the case is now undergoing judicial procedures, it is not appropriate [for SJM] to make any comment,” Mr So told reporters. Asked whether any representative from the operator will be summoned to court to testify, Mr So said “I don’t know yet”. He made no further comment.
Mr Yeung is chairman of Hong Kong-listed Birmingham International Holdings Ltd, which controls English football club Birmingham City. As Business Daily reported in January – from information given in an unrelated Macau lawsuit – when BIHL bought the club in 2009 it was via a share issue underwritten by Kingston Securities Ltd. The latter is a unit of Hong Kong-listed Kingston Financial Group Ltd previously called Golden Resorts Group Ltd.
Kingston Financial Group is controlled by Pollyanna Chu Yuet Wah. Ms Chu’s father, Lee Sui Fok (also known as Lee Wai Man), is an operator of VIP rooms in SJM-licensed casinos.
Kingston Financial Group bought Casa Real casino hotel in Macau in 2005. The property operates on a gaming licence from Sociedade de Jogos de Macau SA, a company founded by Stanley Ho Hung Sun. Kingston also controls the SJM-licensed Grandview Hotel and its casino on Taipa.
During a court hearing on May 3 in Hong Kong, a lawyer prosecuting Mr Yeung named an unidentified casino company here and other firms as the source of more than HK$721.3 million paid to five bank accounts of Mr Yeung from 2001 to 2007.
On Thursday the prosecution named SJM as the source of some of the money. The prosecution lawyer read in open court written testimony of a police financial investigator. It said SJM in particular paid a total of HK$62.45 million over two months during 2004 and 2005.
The money was deposited in 14 cheques to Mr Yeung’s account at Wing Lung Bank Ltd, said the evidence of Johnny Kwan Sui Lun.
According to media reports in Hong Kong, the prosecution will summon 13 witnesses – mostly staff from financial securities firms.
Mr Yeung’s trial was adjourned on Friday as he chaired the annual general meeting of BIHL in Hong Kong. He did not take any questions from the media after the meeting. But Peter Pannu, the company's managing director, revealed that the football club had offloaded five senior players each earning more than 50,000 pounds (HK$600,000) a week.
Mr Yeung has pleaded not guilty to five money-laundering charges against him. The trial resumes today.