Hong Kong’s highest-profile corruption case in decades took another turn on Friday, when Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) said that its former chairman Walter Kwok had also been arrested.
According to a statement from SHKP, the eldest of the three Kwok brothers was arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on May 3 in connection with its investigation into alleged bribery. The company said the arrest would not affect the normal business and operations of SHKP. Trading in shares of the blue-chip property developer and its affiliated unit SUNeVision were suspended until 1 p.m.
Walter’s two brothers, Thomas and Raymond, were arrested by the ICAC in late March, along with Thomas Chan, an executive director of the company, and Rafael Hui, formerly the city’s No. 2 government official.
During a press conference in early April, Raymond said he and his brother Thomas had done nothing wrong and hoped the investigation would prove their innocence without providing any further information.
Walter is a non-executive board member of SHKP. He had been the company’s chairman for close to two decades, until a feud with his brothers saw him replaced by their mother, Kwong Siu-hing, in 2008. Thomas and Raymond were elected joint chairmen during the company’s last annual general meeting in December, when the family matriarch stepped down from the post. Walter was also removed as a beneficiary from the Kwok family’s trust, but he continues to contest this. The Kwok family was ranked No. 3 on the Hong Kong Rich List in January, with a net worth valued at $15.4 billion.