Asset Recovery Watch

ARW-35
Ao Man Long (United Kingdom)
Secretary of Transport and Public Works (1999-2006)
United Kingdom
Location of Recovery Effort, Asset Location / Alleged Asset Location
2008
2015
Art.16, Art.18, Art.19, Art.20, Art.23
Yes
Actions Initiated by Foreign Jurisdiction
MLAT
Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between Hong Kong SAR, China and the United Kingdom; United Nations Convention against Corruption
According to Daniel Li, Deputy Commissioner of the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), "This is one of the successful cases of cooperation between ICAC and other jurisdictions when asset recovery was involved. All assets have been or are currently destined to be returned to Macao. We could have taken the attitude that it is not our concern and simply carried out the minimal requirements of informing the Macao authorities and then sitting back and giving a minimal response, especially as this specific law germane to asset confiscation was not as such available between the two jurisdictions. However we took up this challenge seriously; officers from Hong Kong and Macao worked tirelessly and enthusiastically, and, as a result, AO and his corrupt associates were deprived of vast profits from his criminal enterprise." (Source: Daniel M C Li, Deputy Commissioner and Head of Operations, Independent Commission Against Corruption, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, "Asset Recovery: Is Law Enforcement doing enough?, " The 4th IAACA Seminar, Dalian, People’s Republic of China, 25 – 28 June 2012.)
Completed
Assets Returned to Victim or Requesting Jurisdiction
No

In November 2015, the Office of the Secretary for Administration and Justice of Macao SAR, China issued a statement announcing the return from UK of USD44,245,300 in corruption assets in Mr. Ao's case. According to the statement, Ms. Chan Hoi Fan, Secretary for Administration and Justice of the Macao Special Administrative Region, "indicated that the UNCAC, as an international anti-corruption instrument, has established a very important legal system for fighting corruption at international level. The mechanisms for recovery of property and return of assets, in particular, provided the legal basis on which we are able to establish close cooperation with and to recover the illicit assets from the British Government. In 2010, with the strong support and assistance from the Central Government, the Macao SAR Government conveyed the request to the British Government via diplomatic channels for returning the corruption proceeds in Ao’s case." (Source:Office of the Secretary for Administration and Justice of Macao SAR, China, "Most of the Illicit Assets Abroad in the Case of Ao Man Long Successfully Recovered," November 3, 2015.)

In April 2007, the Commission Against Corruption in Macao SAR, China had reported on its location and seizure of more than 790 million patacas (USD$95 million) in Mr. Ao's accumulated assets, and stated that "Until December 2006...the cash and bonds in Britain and other countries were equivalent to 275 million patacas." (Source: Commission Against Corruption in Macao SAR, "What's New - Detected Cases," April 7, 2007.) In June 2012, the Deputy Head of Hong Kong SAR, China's Independent Commission Against Corruption stated in a presentation that with regard to Mr. Ao's case, "During the course of the asset tracing exercise we discovered that substantial funds had been sent to the United Kingdom and used to purchase a property. This disclosed an offence of money laundering in Hong Kong and therefore we invoked Mutual Legal Assistance between Hong Kong and the UK as a means of freezing any potential sale of this property. Eventually the property was sold under a court order and the funds are now banked in the UK awaiting repatriation to Macao." (Source: Daniel M C Li, Deputy Commissioner and Head of Operations, Independent Commission Against Corruption, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, "Asset Recovery: Is Law Enforcement doing enough?, " The 4th IAACA Seminar, Dalian, People’s Republic of China, 25 – 28 June 2012.)

According to statements by the Commission Against Corruption in Macao SAR, Mr. Ao was tried and convicted by the Macao Court of Final Appeal in two separate trials that ended in January 2008 and April 2009, respectively. (Sources: Commission Against Corruption in Macao SAR, "What's New - Detected Cases," June 4, 2008 and "What's New - Detected Cases," April 22, 2009.)

Commission Against Corruption of Macao SAR, China
Macao Public Prosecutions Office
Court of First Instance
Unspecified
Unspecified
Unspecified