News / Asia

Hong Kong Billionaire Lau Guilty Found Guilty in Graft Case

FILE - A ferry sails across the Casino Sands' Macau, Dec.19, 2009.
FILE - A ferry sails across the Casino Sands' Macau, Dec.19, 2009.
Reuters
Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau, the head of Chinese Estates Holdings, was found guilty of corruption in a land deal in Asia's gambling capital of Macau on Friday and sentenced to five years in jail, a court official in Macau said.

A second high-profile tycoon, Steven Lo, chairman of the South China Football Club and movie-and-music entertainment group BMA Investment, was found guilty of the same bribery and money laundering charges, and handed the same sentence.

Lau, chairman and CEO of Chinese Estates, and Lo were charged with offering a HK$20 million ($2.6 million) bribe to a former Macau government official, in a move to secure land near Macau's Las Vegas style Cotai strip.

Hong Kong television reported that the two men would appeal the verdict.

RTHK said that in the absence of an extradition treaty between Hong Kong and Macau, the pair would escape imprisonment unless they visited the enclave. The men did not attend Friday's hearing in Macau.

The Macau official at the center of the case, Ao Man-long, was Macau's secretary for transport and public works and the most senior government figure ever arrested by Macau's anti-graft agency. He is serving 28-1/2 years in jail for accepting bribes to speed approval of projects.

Hong Kong's tight-knit business community was captivated last year by the arrests in March of the billionaire Kwok brothers who run Asia's largest developer, Sun Hung Kai Properties.

Lau and Lo's sentencing comes at a time when citizens in both Macau and Hong Kong are expressing anger over soaring property prices and tight ties between government and business.

Lau, with a fortune of $6.5 billion according to Forbes, is known as being a serious collector of art and red wine, and he has invested heavily in London property. The divorced tycoon's love life is a staple of Hong Kong's tabloids, with Lau linked to a string of former Miss Hong Kongs.

Prior to the sentencing, Chinese Estates was in the process of building a multi-tower luxury development on the site, called La Scala, after the Milan opera house.

Shares in Chinese Estates were suspended on Friday afternoon ahead of the ruling. The stock has fallen 18 percent this year, compared with an 8 percent drop in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More