Jailed for bribery and corruption but still “most highly reputable”

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Thomas Chan, and Thomas Kwok, right, sit in a prison van as they leave the High Court in Hong Kong

In December 2014, Thomas Kwok, Joint Chairman of Sun Hung Kai and Thomas Chan, Executive Director of Sun Hung Kai, were found guilty of corruption for bribing a public official in Hong Kong with £3 million.

The court case was Hong Kong’s largest ever corruption trial and resulted in the conviction of the second most senior official in the Government. Sun Hung Kai is Hong Kong’s largest property developer, and the payments were for the official to be its ‘eyes and ears’ in government. Thomas Kwok was jailed for five years and Thomas Chan for six years.

Thomas Chan, who was right hand man to the Kwok brothers, was also a Director of Lillie Square GP Limited. The other two Hong Kong Directors, one of whom is Raymond Kwok who was found not guilty, both give their addresses as Sun Hung Kai’s headquarters.

Capco and “interests of certain members of the Kwok family” jointly own the Lillie Square development of 800 flats in Seagrave Road. The venture is shared 50/50 between them. Following the trial, conviction and jailing in such a high profile case that has been reported all over the world, one would have expected Lillie Square GP Ltd to be a little more careful about how they sung the praises of Sun Hung Kai. It would be too much to expect them to show any shame. Instead, the attitude is brazen and, at the very least, misrepresents the reputation of Sun Hung Kai.

The Lillie Square website explains that:

“Lillie Square is owned and developed by a joint venture between Capital & Counties Properties PLC (‘Capco’) and interests of certain members of the Kwok family (‘KFI’). KFI represents interests of certain members of the Kwok family. Interests of the Kwok family are major shareholders of Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited, one of the largest and most highly reputable real estate companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.”

Surely, Capco’s shareholders and investors should be concerned that far from any mention being made of the jailing of its partners for bribery, the property company at the centre of such a huge corruption scandal is described as “most highly reputable”. It is telling that on Capco’s website “most highly reputable” is missing from the description of Sun Hung Kai.

Meanwhile, even before Lillie Square has been built, one bedroom flats are being resold off-plan for £800,000 and three bedroom flats for £2 million.

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