Government investigations—Hong Kong—Q&A guide

The following Public Law practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Government investigations—Hong Kong—Q&A guide
  • 1. What government agencies are principally responsible for the enforcement of civil and criminal laws and regulations applicable to businesses?
  • 2. What is the scope of each agency’s enforcement authority? Can the agencies pursue actions against corporate employees as well as the company itself? Do they typically do this?
  • 3. Can multiple government entities simultaneously investigate the same target business? Must they coordinate their investigations? May they share information obtained from the target and on what terms?
  • 4. In what fora can civil charges be brought? In what fora can criminal charges be brought?
  • 5. Is there a legal concept of corporate criminal liability? How does the government prove that a corporation is criminally liable for the acts of its officers, directors or employees?
  • 6. Must the government evaluate any particular factors in deciding whether to bring criminal charges against a corporation?
  • 7. What requirements must be met before a government entity can commence a civil or criminal investigation?
  • 8. What events commonly trigger a government investigation? Do different enforcement entities have different triggering events?
  • 9. What protections are whistle-blowers entitled to?
  • More...

Government investigations—Hong Kong—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to government investigations in Hong Kong published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: June 2020).

Authors: Haldanes Solicitors and Notaries—Felix KH Ng; Irene Lai ; Vanessa Wong

1. What government agencies are principally responsible for the enforcement of civil and criminal laws and regulations applicable to businesses?

The following government agencies are principally responsible for the enforcement of civil and criminal laws and regulations pertinent to businesses, such as serious fraud, money laundering, bribery and securities laws.

CCB, OCTB and JFIU – serious fraud and money laundering

The police are generally responsible for maintaining law and order in Hong Kong and have the power to conduct criminal investigations and commence prosecutions.

Specialist arms within the police handle investigations of serious fraud and money laundering. The Commercial Crime Bureau (CCB) investigates serious and complex commercial fraud, computer and technology crimes and the counterfeiting or forgery of currency, credit cards and other commercial instruments. The Organised Crime and Triad Bureau (OCTB) investigates organised crimes and syndicated criminal activities, including money laundering. In combating money laundering offences, the CCB and OCTB usually work hand in hand with the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit (JFIU), which is jointly run by the police and the Customs and Excise Department and is responsible for receiving and

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