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Yeung denies laundering charges

Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung has begun his trial into Mmoney laundering in Hong Kong

Birmingham owner Carson Yeung pleaded not guilty to charges of laundering more than HK$720 million said to have happened between 2001 and 2007.

Yeung, who purchased Birmingham in 2009 when they were a newly-promoted Premier League side, denied five charges of dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence.

His lawyer, Graham Harris SC, attempted to have the case thrown out claiming documents relating to the case were no longer available, something which he said would make a fair trial impossible.

Harris said: "The unavailability of materials results in serious prejudice against Mr Yeung," before adding that it would be "monstrously unfair" if the trial proceeded.

The hearing was due to start in November 2012 but Yeung has attempted to delay the trial several times on account of needing to gather evidence. He was arrested in June 2011 resulting in the trading of shares in Birmingham's parent company being suspended.

Hong Kong's banking regulator has recently claimed to be doubling the size of its anti-money laundering team after two high-profile court cases drew unwanted attention to the compliance and monitoring systems in place at some financial institutions. Hong Kong Monetary Authority are empowered to prosecute or discipline banks for ignoring or assisting in money laundering.

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