22 December 2014
Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and his younger brother, Raymond Kwok, jointly control Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. – the world’s second-most valuable real estate company. Kwok brothers’ fortune is estimated to be $ 18.3 billion.
Thomas Kwok was found guilty of conspiring to pay HK$8.5 million ($1.1 million) to Rafael Hui from 2005 to 2007 in exchange for favourable treatment for Sun Hung Kai, the world’s second-most valuable real estate company.
Rafael Hui during that time was Hong Kong’s chief secretary and later a member of the government’s advisory body. He was convicted on five charges, including conspiracy to accept HK$11.18 million in bribes. The bribes were in the form of rent-free apartments, unsecured loans and a consultancy agreement with the property company.
Raymond Kwok was cleared of all charges. He was released from custody after his arrest in 2012.
Thomas Chan Kui-yuen, executive director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, who was responsible for land acquisition at the company, was found guilty of making series of payments to Rafael Hui.
Kwan Hung-sang, a businessman also known as Francis Kwan was also found guilty of making payments to Rafael Hui. He was formerly a Hong Kong Stock Exchange official.
Hong Kong is one of the least corrupt countries in Asia. The charges were filed by Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption, or I.C.A.C.
After the verdicts were released the company announced that Thomas Kwok will resign his positions as chairman, managing director, and executive director of Sun Hung Kai with immediate effect. His son Adam will be appointed as executive director.
Thomas Chan also quit his job as executive director.
Thomas Kwok and Thomas Chan will appeal against their convictions.