Hong Kong Arrests 2 Suspected of Laundering $384M Through Banks and a Crypto Exchange

Customs agents raided a home in the Yau Tong district and arrested a 28-year-old woman and her 21-year-old brother.

Dec 30, 2021 at 8:28 a.m. UTC
Updated Dec 30, 2021 at 4:46 p.m. UTC

Hong Kong’s Customs and Excise Department arrested two people suspected of laundering about $384 million through personal bank accounts and a cryptocurrency exchange, the agency said in a release dated Tuesday.

  • The two were arrested under the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (OSCO) for “dealing with property known or reasonably believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offense,” or money laundering.
  • The release said the suspects had opened personal accounts from May to November last year at various Hong Kong banks, including virtual banks and a cryptocurrency trading platform. They were accused of engaging in suspected money laundering by dealing with money from unknown sources through bank transfers, cash deposits and cryptocurrency.
  • The woman, 28, and her brother, 21, were arrested in Hong Kong’s Yau Tong district and released on bail pending further investigation. More arrests haven’t been ruled out.
  • Under the OSCO, a person commits an offense if he or she deals with any property knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that such property in whole or in part directly or indirectly represents any person’s proceeds from an indictable offense. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a $5 million fine and 14 years in prison, and proceeds from the crime are subject to confiscation.


The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Greg Ahlstrand is CoinDesk's Asia News Editor. Greg has no significant crypto holdings.