The director of a Capco joint venture company has been found guilty in Hong Kong on two counts of conspiring to bribe a public official. Lillie Square GP Limited, which is registered at Capco’s headquarters in Mayfair, was set up as a 50/50 partnership with the Kwok family trusts to develop Seagrave Road, the first phase of the £12 billion Earl’s Court redevelopment.
Thomas Kui Yuen Chan was appointed a Director of Seagrave Road GP Limited – later renamed Lillie Square GP Limited – on 30 August 2012, just weeks after Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption charged him with corruption.
Chan was responsible for channelling money to a senior Hong Kong public official who was also found guilty, along with Thomas Kwok, of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. The guilty verdict comes at the end of a six month long trial which was one of the highest profile legal cases in Hong Kong and a test of credibility for the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Raymond Kwok, who is also a Director of Lillie Square GP Limited, was found not guilty.
The Kwok family owns Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP), the world’s second largest property developer. Chan was the top aide to Raymond and Thomas Kwok. Chan was an Executive Director of SHKP who was in charge of land purchases. He has now resigned from SHKP and along with Thomas Kwok is set to appeal against the verdict. The sentence has not yet been announced.
Earlier this year, Lillie Square flats went on sale in Hong Kong and Thailand. It is believed that around half the homes sold off plan have gone to foreign investors. One bedroom flats started at £600,000. It is not known whether the Kwok family trusts were mixed up in the corrupt dealing, though it appears that Chan’s family trusts were used to divert funds via another middleman from Thomas Kwok to the public official.
When will Thomas Kui Yuen Chan resign from Lillie Square GP Limited? Surely Capco will not want to be seen to be keeping company with a convicted criminal who has been in prison since the verdict was announced on 19 December.