Hong Kong’s SFC initiates criminal proceedings into market manipulation of shares of Ching Lee Holdings Limited

Maria Nikolova

The criminal proceedings target five individuals who allegedly conspired to carry out false trading in the shares of Ching Lee Holdings Limited.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) today announces the launch of criminal proceedings against five individuals for conspiring to carry out false trading in the shares of Ching Lee Holdings Limited (Ching Lee).

The regulator has referred the case to the Department of Justice which has the authority to prosecute offences under the SFO in the District Court and the Court of First Instance. The maximum penalty for market manipulation is imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of $10 million.

The SFC alleges that between 29 March 2016 and 7 September 2016, the five defendants – Ms Sit Yi Ki, Ms Lam Wing Ki, Mr Tam Cheuk Hang, Mr Simon Suen Man and Mr Ho Ming Hin – conspired to create a false or misleading appearance of active market in respect of the Ching Lee shares, contrary to sections 295 and 303 of the SFO and section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.

Three defendants – Sit, Lam and Tam – appeared today at the Eastern Magistracy. No plea was taken and the case was adjourned to 24 September 2020.

The Court granted each of the three defendants court bail of $10,000. They are not allowed to leave Hong Kong.

The SFC has also commenced proceedings under section 213 of the SFO against the defendants and various local and overseas individuals of the alleged market manipulation. These proceedings were initiated on July 11, 2019 when the SFC applied for urgent interim injunctions, with a view to ensuring that there are sufficient assets to meet the restoration orders that the court may make for the benefit of affected counterparties to the impugned transactions involving Ching Lee shares.

On August 26, 2019, Deputy High Court Judge Liu ordered that the interim injunctions granted to the SFC on July 15, 2019 be continued, freezing assets of up to $124.9 million held by 15 local and overseas entities. This represents the combined profit made by them and their nominees in their alleged manipulation activities involving Ching Lee shares. The injunctions against several overseas entities cover their assets worldwide.

The SFC alleged that the manipulative scheme was planned and commenced before Ching Lee’s listing on 29 March 2016, and lasted for more than five months, resulting in the artificial inflation of the share price and turnover of Ching Lee shares between 29 March 2016 and 6 September 2016 and the collapse of the Ching Lee’s share price by 90% on 7 September 2016.

Read this next

Institutional FX

Fortex adds GBE Prime to liquidity offering

“This collaboration enhances our liquidity distribution capabilities, offering our clients improved pricing, order execution, and risk management. We look forward to the positive impact this integration will have on our clients.”

Retail FX

Fullerton Markets Caps Off Stellar Year with Dual Triumph at Gazet International Awards 2023

Fullerton Markets, one of the fastest-growing brokerages in the Asia Pacific, has today announced its remarkable success at the prestigious Gazet International Awards 2023, where it secured two coveted accolades, reinforcing its position as a global leader in multi-asset brokerage and marketing a triumphant end to the year.

Inside View

Are brokers really ready for EMIR Refit and ESMA changes in 2024?

The EMIR Refit and ESMA reporting requirements necessitate a strategic approach from brokers, involving major updates to reporting systems, data collection processes, and internal resources. We spoke with brokers and RegTech providers to learn more about the upcoming regulatory challenges.

Digital Assets

Binance to phase out BUSD support in two weeks

Binance has announced its plans to gradually phase out support for its native stablecoin, BUSD (Binance USD) by December 15, 2023. This move comes after Paxos, the issuer of BUSD, decided to stop minting new tokens.


Binance Labs invests $3.15M in Open Campus to advance Web3 education

Binance Labs, the venture capital arm of the cryptocurrency giant Binance, has invested $3.15 million in Web3 education platform Open Campus.

Institutional FX

Brighty App unveils EU B2B payment platform amidst exploding market

Brighty App is set to launch its European B2B platform, Brighty Business, this month. This platform is geared towards improving how businesses handle their financial operations, especially in the digital banking and cryptocurrency domains.

Digital Assets

Celsius’ withdrawal process slowed by overwhelming demand

Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius is taking steps to allow certain customers to withdraw their funds. However, some users have reported difficulties in logging in to process their withdrawals, as indicated by posts on various social media platforms.

Digital Assets

Cristiano Ronaldo hit with $1 billion lawsuit over Binance NFTs

Cristiano Ronaldo, the renowned footballer, is facing a class-action lawsuit in the United States over his promotion of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.

Digital Assets

Zipmex creditors offered 3.35 cents on the dollar payout

Zipmex, a Thai crypto exchange grappling with financial difficulties, has proposed a restructuring plan to repay its creditors.