Just when the UK thought they got rid of Hong Kong, the special administrative region has come back to haunt them. According to the International Advisor, Hong Kong, along with Russia, China, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been described as having the most enduring impact on the UK across the majority of the different money laundering threats. The full report by the NCA (National Crime Agency) of the UK is available here. The report goes on to add “Some of these jurisdictions have large financial sectors which also make them attractive as destinations or transit points for the proceeds of crime.”
As highlighted from the report by The Economic Times, “The UK is a prime destination for foreign corrupt PEPs to launder the proceeds of corruption. Investment in UK property, particularly in London, continues to be an attractive mechanism to launder funds. The true scale of PEPs investment in the UK is not known, however the source countries that are most commonly seen are Russia, Nigeria and Pakistan.” The report also mentions the expectation of criminals taking advantage of Brexit, exploiting changes in laws, regulations, and protocols.
To find Hong Kong named and shamed again is no surprise, and national government reports making such statements are very damaging. One can say it is due to the large financial sector therefore these accusations are expected, however, there are other large financial sectors in Asia yet Hong Kong seems the most named and shamed among them all.