Business, Economics and Jobs

Third brother arrested in Hong Kong bribery probe


Walter Kwok (C), the former boss of Hong Kong’s biggest real estate company, was arrested by the city’s anti-graft agency on May 3.



Walter Kwok, the former boss of Hong Kong’s biggest real estate company, has been arrested by the city’s anti-graft agency five weeks after his two billionaire brothers and a former top government official were targeted in a high-profile corruption probe.

Sun Hung Kai Properties said Friday that Kwok had been arrested late Thursday by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), the BBC reports.

Kwok was a former chairman of the firm, which has built some of the most iconic skyscrapers on the Hong Kong skyline, and the eldest son of the company’s founder.

He was ousted by his younger siblings – Raymond and Thomas Kwok, who possess the second-biggest family fortune in Hong Kong and are now joint chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties – in 2008.

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The two brothers were arrested in March in connection with a probe into suspected bribery offences, along with Rafael Hui, Hong Kong’s former No. 2 official, who was detained on suspicion of bribery and misconduct in public office.

None of the men have yet been charged and all have been released on bail. Raymond and Thomas Kwok deny any wrongdoing, according to the Associated Press.

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Between the March 30 arrests of the younger Kwok brothers and Thursday Sun Hung Kai Properties’ shares have fallen 15 percent to HK$94.30, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The company’s shares were suspended on Friday morning and were down 2 percent when trading resumed in the afternoon. In a statement Friday the company said “the arrest has not affected and will not affect normal business and operations of the group.”

The ICAC was established in 1974 to tackle widespread corruption in the Hong Kong government and in the police forces. It operates as a law-enforcement agency, empowered to arrest and hold suspects and prosecute cases in cooperation with the Department of Justice, according to Reuters

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