Two former Hong Kong leaders nominated Pandora documents leaked, The most extensive global data decline, details the secret financial transactions of the world’s richest people to conceal their assets.
According to reports, CY Leung did not declare the proceeds of the sale of Japanese company shares while still serving as the chief executive officer of the Chinese territory. It is said that the billionaire Tung Chee-hwa established an offshore company after his retirement.
Liang Zhenying served as Hong Kong’s leader from 2012 to 2017, and Tung Chee Hwa was the first chief executive of Hong Kong after its return to China in 1997. He remained in power until 2005.
Both are now serving as senior members of the Chinese Government’s Advisory Committee. It is reported that with the current Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s term coming to an end, Liang Zhenying may seek a political return.
This landmark survey involved 600 journalists from 150 news organizations in 117 countries and compiled approximately 11.9 million documents from more than a dozen financial institutions. It is estimated that the world’s business and political leaders are associated with trillions of dollars in offshore wealth.
The law does not prohibit the opening of offshore accounts. But if the purpose of these accounts is to avoid taxes in their respective countries, then this may be considered illegal.
In addition to Liang Zhenying and Tung Chee-hwa, about 35 current and former world leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Jordanian King Abdullah II were also nominated.
According to the International Federation of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Liang Zhenying failed to announce the sale of approximately HK$2.3 million (US$295,000) of shares in DTZ Japan Ltd. in 2015. ICIJ cooperates with Hong Kong’s position news in the investigation.
Position News reported that Liang Zhenying reportedly holds 30% of the company’s shares through two offshore companies.
The report also stated that even after taking office as the chief executive of Hong Kong on July 1, 2012, Liang continued to serve as directors of three offshore companies and resigned in August of the same year.
According to reports, Liang has never publicly acknowledged his role and responsibilities in these three companies.
Liang described the “Stance News” report as misleading and warned against inciting “irresponsible news fire” in a series of posts on social media.
He wrote on Facebook that he only needs to declare the shares he directly owns, not the shares of the company’s subsidiaries.
“There is no need to declare the ownership and trading of shares in subsidiaries,” he said, adding that he did not exercise decision-making power in the mentioned companies, including DTZ Japan.
He also provided reasons for him to continue serving as a director of these three companies during his tenure as the Hong Kong leader, saying that the contract has different procedures, and in some cases, the resignation did not take effect immediately.
“I initiated all resignation procedures before assuming the CEO role,” he said.
Liang’s accusation published in the Sydney Morning Herald in 2014 stated that Liang received 50 million Hong Kong dollars (US$6.4 million) when bidding for the real estate company DTZ, but he did not declare, and he was subsequently investigated.
The report stated that a payment was made to Liang to prevent him from gaining a place among DTZ’s competitors. The complaint against him was dropped in 2018, and the Ministry of Justice cited insufficient evidence.
He was also investigated for potential conflicts of interest and tax evasion, but these cases were dropped in 2020.
The position news report also stated that Liang Zhenying and Tung Chee-hwa are both clients of Trident Trust, which is an international company that manages trusts and funds. The newspaper said that both of them used intermediaries to register offshore accounts and shell companies around the world for themselves and their families to avoid taxation.
At the same time, it is reported that Tung Chee-hwa has established at least seven offshore companies after leaving office. Using one of these companies, an account was opened with HSBC with an estimated asset of US$1 million (HK$7.8 million).
Dong and his family also opened up to 72 offshore company accounts.
According to Forbes magazine, the wealth chart of the richest people in the world, Dong’s wealth is estimated at 2.6 billion US dollars.
Dong and his family have yet to respond to the report.