|03 May 2019||BBU No. 129 (2019) - Prosecution of carrying on a trust or company service business without a licence|
The licensing regime for trust or company service providers has commenced operation since 1 March 2018. Under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance, Cap. 615 (“AMLO”), such service providers are required to apply for a licence from the Registrar of Companies before they can provide trust or company service as a business in Hong Kong.
However, according to Companies Registry, there have been cases where a trust or company service business is being carried on without a licence in breach of the requirements of the AMLO. Up to the end of March 2019, the Companies Registry has instituted prosecution action in 22 cases for the offence of carrying on a trust or company service business without a licence. The offenders, once convicted, were not only fined by the Court but were also disqualified from holding a licence for a period of time as specified by the Court.
Under section 53F of the AMLO, any person who carries on a trust or company service business in Hong Kong without a licence commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine up to $100,000 and imprisonment for 6 months. The Court may also order that the person be disqualified from holding a licence for a period as specified by the Court.
(The information is provided by Companies Registry, website: www.tcsp.cr.gov.hk)