Senior fire officer charged by ICAC over HK$7.8m mortgage fraud

A property buyer has been accused of deceiving a bank and the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Insurance Limited (HKMCI) into granting them a mortgage with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 80%, or around 7.8 million HK dollars, by making false declarations that an apartment was purchased for his own use.

Hui Chi-fung, 38, a senior fire department officer, faces two counts of fraud. He was released on bail from the ICAC, pending his appearance in Eastern Magistrates Courts on Wednesday August 3 for the case to be transferred to the District Court.

The ICAC investigation stemmed from an allegation of corruption. In April 2020, the defendant purchased a residential property in San Po Kong for HK$9.65 million and applied for a mortgage loan with an LTV ratio of 80% from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Limited ( ICBC Asia) under HKMCI’s mortgage insurance program.

The charges allege that between April 16 and July 8, 2020, the defendant made false statements to ICBC Asia and HKMCI that the above residential property would be occupied by himself after the completion of the purchase, and with the intent to defraud ICBC Asia to approve a mortgage loan application, and HKMCI to approve the mortgage loan insurance coverage application.

According to guidelines issued by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, banks are required to comply with the LTV ratio requirement for home mortgages. Banks participating in the Mortgage Loan Insurance Program can provide a mortgage loan with an LTV ratio of up to 80% for private residential property for personal use worth between HK$6 million and HK$10 million.

The ICAC investigation found that the Huis’ property was rented shortly after the mortgage application was approved by ICBC Asia.

ICBC Asia and HKMCI provided full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation of the matter.

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