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10. Possession of unexplained property

(1). Any person who, being or having been the Chief Executive or a prescribed officer – (Amended 14 of 2003, Section 17; 22 of 2008, Section 4)

maintains a standard of living above that which is commensurate with his present or past official emoluments; or
is in control of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his present or past official emoluments,

shall, unless he gives a satisfactory explanation to the court as to how he was able to maintain such a standard of living or how such pecuniary resources or property came under his control, be guilty of an offence.

(1A) If the accused in any proceedings for an offence under subsection (1) is or has been the Chief Executive, the court, in determining whether the accused has given a satisfactory explanation as provided in that subsection, shall take into account assets that he declared to the Chief Justice pursuant to Paragraph 2, Article 47 of the Basic Law. (Added 22 of 2008 s. 4)

(1B) The Chief Justice shall disclose to a court information about assets declared to him pursuant to Paragraph 2, Article 47 of the Basic Law if the disclosure is required by an order made by the court for the purposes of subsection (1A). (Added 22 of 2008 s. 4)

(2) Where a court is satisfied in proceedings for an offence under subsection (1)(b) that, having regard to the closeness of his relationship to the accused and to other circumstances, there is reason to believe that any person was holding pecuniary resources or property in trust for or otherwise on behalf of the accused or acquired such resources or property as a gift from the accused, such resources or property shall, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, be presumed to have been in the control of the accused. (Added 9 of 1974 s. 3. Amended 48 of 1996 s. 3)

(3)-(4)(Repealed 56 of 1973 s. 2)

(5) In this section, official emoluments includes a pension or gratuity payable under the Pensions Ordinance (Cap. 89), the Pension Benefits Ordinance (Cap. 99) or the Pension Benefits (Judicial Officers) Ordinance (Cap. 401). (Amended 36 of 1987 s. 44; 85 of 1988 s. 51)


12. Penalty for offences

(1) Any person guilty of an offence under this Part, other than an offence under Section 3, shall be liable –

on conviction on indictment –
(i) for an offence under section 10, to a fine of HK$1,000,000 and to imprisonment for 10 years;


on summary conviction –
(i) for an offence under section 10, to a fine of HK$500,000 and to imprisonment for 3 years;


and shall be ordered to pay to such person or public body and in such manner as the court directs, the amount or value of any advantage received by him, or such part thereof as the court may specify.
(Amended 28 of 1980 s. 5)


(3) In addition to any penalty imposed under Subsection 1, the court may order a person convicted of an offence under Section 10(1)(b) to pay to the Government – (Amended 1 of 2003, Section 3)

a sum not exceeding the amount of the pecuniary resources; or
a sum not exceeding the value of the property,

the acquisition of which by him was not explained to the satisfaction of the court. (Added 9 of 1974 s. 4)

(4) An order under subsection (3) may be enforced in the same manner as a judgment of the High Court in its civil jurisdiction. (Added 9 of 1974 s. 4. Amended 25 of 1998 s. 2)

(5) An order may be made under subsection (3) in respect of an offence under section 10(1)(b) where the facts that gave rise to that offence arose before 15 February 1974. (Added 61 of 1980 s. 2)

12AA. Confiscation of assets

(1) Subject to this section, where a person is convicted on indictment of an offence under section 10(1)(b) the court may, in addition to any penalty imposed under section 12(1), order the confiscation of any pecuniary resources or property—

found at the trial to be in his control as provided in section 10; and
of an amount or value not exceeding the amount or value of pecuniary resources or property the acquisition of which by him was not explained to the satisfaction of the court.

(2) Any application for an order under subsection (1) shall be made by the Secretary for Justice within 28 days after the date of the conviction.
(Amended L.N. 362 of 1997)

(3) An order under subsection (1) shall not be made in respect of pecuniary resources or property held by a person other than the person convicted unless that other person has been given reasonable notice that such an order may be made and has had an opportunity to show cause why it should not be made.

(4) An order under subsection (1) shall not be made in respect of pecuniary resources or property held by a person other than the person convicted if that other person satisfies the court in any proceedings to show cause under subsection (3) that he had—

acted in good faith as regards the circumstances in which the pecuniary resources or property came to be held by him; and
so acted in relation to the pecuniary resources or property that an order in the circumstances would be unjust.

(5) Nothing in subsection (4) shall be construed as limiting the court’s discretion to decline to make an order under subsection (1) on grounds other than those specified in subsection (4).

(6) An order under subsection (1)—

may be made subject to such conditions as the court thinks fit in all the circumstances of the case; and
may be made in respect of an offence under section 10(1)(b) where the facts that gave rise to that offence occurred before the date of commencement of the Prevention of Bribery (Amendment) Ordinance 1987 (50 of 1987).

(7) A court may make orders under both subsection (1) and section 12(3) in respect of the same offence but shall not make orders under both provisions in respect of the same pecuniary resources or property.

(8) An order under subsection (1) may make provision for taking possession of pecuniary resources or property to which the order applies and for the disposal of such resources or property by or on behalf of the Government.
(Amended 1 of 2003 s. 3)
(Added 50 of 1987 s. 4)


Type: Criminal Illicit Enrichment Laws

Last update on LEARN: Thursday, 3 March 2022, 1:00 PM