ABC News has released an investigative report detailing a long and intricate connection between jewellery retailer Chow Tai Fook and Chinese organised crime.
Chow Tai Fook is the world’s second-largest jewellery retailer by market value and has more than 5,900 stores worldwide.
Written by Josh Robertson, Mark Willacy, Echo Hui and Kyle Taylor, the ABC News report links Chow Tai Fook with a wide range of figures well-known for their connection to the criminal underworld including Wan Kuok Koi, Alvin Chau, Stanley Ho and Ao leong Lok Hei.
“ABC Investigations can reveal Chow Tai Fook and associated companies have been linked to Chinese organised crime for decades,” the report states.
“The revelations come on the eve of the Gotterson Inquiry in Queensland, which from Tuesday will probe allegations Star turned a blind eye to money laundering and criminal infiltration in the sunshine state.”
In 2015, the Queensland government, led by premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, approved Chow Tai Fook’s bid to become a partner in the $3.8 billion expansion of Queen’s Wharf in Brisbane.
Chow Tai Fook owns 25 per cent of the shares of a casino – The Star – being developed on Queen’s Wharf. The company also owns a significant amount of residential real estate in the areas surrounding the site.
The casino – owned by The Star Entertainment Group – is due to open next year.
Chow Tai Fook Holdings is owned by the Cheng family. Based in Hong Kong, the company is led by chairman Henry Cheng, who took the leadership from his father Cheng Yu Tung.
Cheng owns the majority stake of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, and leads New World Development – a company focused on property development.
Chow Tai Fook began in 1929 as a jewellery store in Guangzhou, China.