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SFC cooperates with BCSC in obtaining preservation orders against Leung Anita Fung Yee Maria in British Columbia, Canada

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has obtained preservation orders against Ms Leung Anita Fung Yee Maria, former chief executive officer and executive director of SMI Culture & Travel Group Holdings Limited (SMI Culture & Travel Group), with the assistance of the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) of Canada. The preservations orders restrain Leung and certain banks where she holds accounts from disposing of and transmitting assets and properties she holds in British Columbia, Canada (Note 1).

On 17 May 2024, the BCSC issued the preservation orders at the request of the SFC made pursuant to the International Organization of Securities Commissions Enhanced Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation and Cooperation and the Exchange of Information (IOSCO EMMoU). Both the SFC and the BCSC are signatories to the IOSCO EMMoU (Note 2). The preservation orders against Leung will remain in effect until the BCSC issues a further order to vary or revoke them.

This came after the SFC obtained an interim injunction order at the Court of First Instance of Hong Kong on 6 May 2024 against Leung. The injunction order prohibits her from, among other things, disposing of or diminishing the value of any of her assets, whether within or outside Hong Kong, up to the value of $235,363,373 (Note 3). The injunction order will remain in place until the final determination of the proceedings against Leung in Hong Kong (Note 4).

The SFC’s Executive Director of Enforcement, Mr Christopher Wilson, said: “The IOSCO multilateral enforcement cooperation framework provides a potent mechanism for regulators to cooperate to prevent evasion of legal liability. In this case, the preservation orders amply demonstrate the importance of close cooperation among regulators to safeguarding the integrity of markets, protecting investors and combating misconduct and fraud in today’s interconnected global financial markets.”

The SFC would like to thank the BCSC for its assistance in the investigation of this case.

End

Notes:

  1. The principal business of SMI Culture & Travel Group, founded by Leung and Mr Philip Wong Yu Hong (deceased), was providing media services including TV programme and production related services, TV advertising, and other public relations services in the People’s Republic of China. The company’s shares were listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited on 30 June 2004 and delisted on 21 March 2022.

  2. The IOSCO EMMoU provides a framework for international cooperation in the enforcement of securities and derivatives laws and regulations.

  3. For further details, please refer to the SFC’s press release dated 7 May 2024.

  4. The SFC commenced legal proceedings under section 214 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance in October 2019 against Leung and two other senior executives of SMI Culture & Travel Group. They are Wong, former chairman and non-executive director, and Mr Tsiang Hoi Fong, former executive director. The date of the trial has yet to be fixed.


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