The House News
5th August 2013
ICAC Refuses to Investigate Barry Cheung Chun-yuen
Multiple scandals surrounding Benny Cheung Chun-yuen, former Executive Council member and Chairman of Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange, were exposed but he has yet to be prosecuted with any criminal charges. Lam Cheuk-ting, Chief Executive at Democratic Party, said that ICAC has replied to him that ICAC will not investigate Cheung based on the public rumours about him receive loan from property developers at an extremely low interest rate. Cheung admitted in a recent interview that he received a loan from Leung Chee-hon, a non-executive director at Sunley Holdings, and that he did not know Leung before.
Allen Lee Peng-fei, former Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress, said in a RTHK programme in June 2013 that he knew about a major property developer provided a US$9 million loan to Benny Cheung at an annual rate of 1%. Cheung demanded Lee to apologise but Lee refused. Cheung later on took Lee to court for defamation but the case is yet to be heard.
Lam Cheuk-ting filed a complaint with the ICAC, and said that if Allen Lee’s accusation is grounded, Cheung, as an individual with holds multiple public positions, the loans could potentially involved elements of corruptions. Lam demanded the ICAC to investigate Cheung to find out whether he’s breached Section 4 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance – receiving advantages as a civil servant. Lam said that the ICAC did not contact Allen Lee and said that the complaint was based on news report and there is sufficient evidence for ICAC to begin any investigation.
Last Friday (9th August) Leung Chee-hon filed a lawsuit against Benny Cheung, former Executive Council member, demanding him to repay a US$5.1 million debt. This incident revealed that Cheung lied in May this year that neither himself nor the Mercantile Exchange has any debt.
Cheung admitted last Friday during an interview with Hong Kong Economic Times (HKET) that he was introduced to Leung Chee-hon by a lawyer friend, and is the guarantor of a loan provided by New Effort Holdings Limited, which is wholly owned by Leung. Cheung did not know Leung prior to this incident. The loan was partly injected into the Mercantile Exchange and partly was lent to the Exchange’s shareholders.
The (HKET) news report did not mention why Cheung lied about not having any debt in May, nor would he be able to repay the debt.