U.K. espionage case tangled with high-stakes embezzlement allegations in Hong Kong

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24th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) Monica Kwong Man-ki, a former employee of HK Yearshine Investment and Twt Global, finds herself at the centre of a major legal battle. The Hong Kong High Court is processing a request by the two corporations to extend an injunction that bars Kwong from shifting allegedly embezzled funds, totalling over HK$164 million.

Kwong, along with three other defendants, did not attend the court session where their presence was anticipated. The charges against them involve significant unauthorized financial transactions from their former employers’ accounts, conducted between July 2022 and October of the previous year.

Simultaneously, in the United Kingdom, Kwong has been identified as a potential target in an espionage-related incident. Three individuals—Bill Yuen Chung-biu, Peter Wai Chi-leung, and Matthew Trickett—have been charged under the U.K.’s National Security Act with aiding a foreign intelligence service and engaging in foreign interference. The connection between these charges and the financial misconduct in Hong Kong adds layers of complexity to Kwong’s legal challenges.

The case was further complicated after Trickett was found deceased in a public park, prompting an ongoing investigation by British authorities.

Back in Hong Kong, the civil lawsuit seeks not only to freeze the defendants’ assets but also to secure a declaration that these assets rightfully belong to the plaintiffs. The court, presided over by Judge Lisa Wong, has granted the extension of the asset-freezing injunction, emphasising the need to safeguard the funds from further unauthorized transfers.