Francis Choi, probably Sai Kung’s wealthiest man, named in one of Hong Kong’s biggest ever court cases

Chuk Kok resident Francis Choi Chee-ming, the “Toy King”. Photo credit: Forbes

The man who is likely to be Sai Kung’s richest has been ensnared in a court case involving allegations of fraud of up to $4 billion. Francis Choi Chee-ming, a resident of Chuk Kok, founded the company reported to be the world’s largest toy maker, the main source of his wealth, estimated by Forbes at $6.4 billion. Francis, 70, is known as the “Toy King”.

This summary is based on reports in Bloomberg, Forbes, SCMP and Webb-site:

Francis has been added to the list of defendants in a case brought by Convoy Global Holdings at the High Court.  The suit concerns one of Hong Kong’s biggest ever financial scams, allegedly. David Webb dubbed it the “Enigma Network”. Mr Justice Jonathan Harris has adjourned the case until September to allow lawyers time to prepare.

The ICAC and the Securities and Futures Commission have been investigating allegations of fraud involving $4.04 billion at Convoy. This, it is alleged, followed a private share placement subscribed to by one of Taiwan’s richest families, the bank-owning Tsais. A doctor turned equity investor, Roy Cho Kwai-chee, has been accused of being the mastermind behind a web of companies involved in transactions that defrauded Convoy of billions. It was the kind of thing that David Webb loves to investigate.

Sai Kung’s Chois, it is claimed, were directors of Roy’s flagship company, Town Health International Medical Group. It operates a chain of medical clinics, including one at Shatin.  Crystal Choi, Francis’s daughter, was chairman; Francis was vice-chairman and a director. (Crystal is reportedly owner of the new Pier Hotel at Pak Sha Wan.)

Town Health was at the centre of a group of companies, called the Engima Network, that set out to trap minority investors, according to Hong Kong regulators. The ICAC raided Town Health on February 9 with a search warrant. Roy is reported to have scarpered from Hong Kong.

Francis made billions by founding and building Early Light International into one of the world’s biggest manufacturers, producing toys for the likes of Mattel.  He also invested in a property in China, Macau and Hong Kong. Kowloon City Plaza belongs to Francis. He is also vice-chairman of Regal Hotels International. Recently he bought control of the retail watch chain, Halewinner. Forbes says Francis is the 13th richest person in Hong Kong.

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