Introduction

Both money laundering and terrorist financing are criminal offenses under the Laws of Hong Kong. According to the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance (Cap. 405) and the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 455), a person commits the offense of money laundering if he deals with any property, including money, which he knows or has reasonable grounds to believe to be proceeds of drug trafficking / indictable offence. Under the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance (Cap. 575), a person commits the offense of terrorist financing if he provides or collects any property knowing or with the intention that the property will be used for terrorist acts.


Money Laundering

Under section 25(1) of the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance, Cap 405 and section 25(1) of the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance, Cap 455, Money laundering is an offence for a person who, knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that any property which, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly represents any person’s proceeds of drug trafficking or indictable offence, deals with that property.

Maximum penalty is a HK$ 5,000,000 fine and 14-year imprisonment.

To read more about these sections of the legislation, please follow this link to the Hong Kong E-Legislation.


Terrorist Financing

Under the following provisions of UNATMO Cap.575, it is an offence if a person:

  • provides or collects property, with intention or knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe, that the property, in whole or in part be used or will be used to commit one or more terrorist acts (section 7)

  • makes property or financial services available to or for the benefit of terrorist or terrorist associate. (section 8)

Maximum penalty is a fine and 14-year imprisonment.

UNATMO Cap. 575 has been fully implemented since 1st January 2011. Under section 6 of Cap. 575 the Secretary for Security is authorized to freeze the property of terrorists or of persons connected with terroristsection It is an offence under section 14 if a person knowingly contravenes a notice under section 6(1) or contravenes a requirement under section 6(7).

To read more about these sections of the legislation, please follow this link to the explanatory notes of section 6 and section 14 of Cap. 575 or this link to the Hong Kong E-Legislation.


Requirement of Filing STR

Under section 25(A) of the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance, Cap 405, section 25(A) of Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance, Cap 455, and section 12 of the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance, Cap. 575 , state that when a person knows or suspects that any property is proceeds of drug trafficking or an indictable offence, or terrorist property, or was used in connection with drug trafficking, an indictable offence or terrorist act, or is intended to be used in drug trafficking, an indictable offence or terrorist act, he or she should report his or her knowledge or suspicion to an authorized officer (i.e. JFIU officers) as soon as practicable.

Failing to report is an offence which is liable to HK$ 50,000 fine and 3-month imprisonment.

To read more about these sections of the legislation, please follow this link to the Hong Kong E-Legislation.


Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance, Cap 615.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance, Cap 615, which seeks to improve Hong Kong's AML / CFT regime by better alignment of the financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions with prevailing international standards has come into operation since 1 April, 2012 and further amended since 1 March 2018.

To read more about these sections of the legislation, please follow this link to the Hong Kong E-Legislation.