Hong Kong court sentences Slovak businessman Juraj Jariabka to four-year imprisonment for money laundering
Juraj Jariabka, a Slovak businessman involved in money laundering ring that stretched from Eastern Europe to Dubai and Hong Kong, was sentenced to four-year imprisonment by a Hong Kong court, which found him guilty thanks to Italian journalist and whistleblower Antonio Papaleo, the Slovak newswire, Slovak Spectator, reported Sept. 16.
â€śJuraj Jariabka wanted me to be a financial proxy,â€ť Papaleo stated in his testimony, as cited by TheWhistleblowers portal. â€śHe wanted me to travel to Hong Kong and set up front companies and bank accounts that would ultimately be controlled by Jariabka.
â€śI immediately realized I was being hired for an initial lump sum of EUR 5,000 plus expenses to hide the source and beneficiaries of shady financial transactions potentially worth hundreds of millions of euros.â€ť
Instead of helping Jariabka, however, Papaleo chose a sting operation and recorded the entire meeting with Jariabka. The recording was later used as the key evidence against Jariabka in the court.
Jariabkaâ€™s conviction came about as a direct result of an undercover investigation by Antonio Papaleo, a former reporter for Italian and Slovak televisions. As of 2012, Papaleo began infiltrating Slovak criminal circles posing as a drug addict and alcoholic.
According to Hong Kong prosecutors, Papaleo was brought to Hong Kong by Jariabka in May 2013 in order to set up bank accounts with Standard Chartered, Bank of China and Citibank because HSBC had anti-money-laundering procedures in place.
â€śAlthough Papaleo entered the banks, he feigned setting up the accounts as he did not wish to commit any crime in Hong Kong,â€ť the prosecution stated, as cited by South China Morning Post newswire.
Papaleo originally reported the case to the Slovak police, but police did not take any steps due to insufficient evidence against Jariabka.
“Information and documents were not sufficient for Slovak investigators to start criminal prosecution in this matter neither at the time when they were provided nor after their amendment,â€ť Slovak Police Spokesman Michal Slivka stated, as cited by the Slovak Spectator.
As the Slovak police failed to act on the case, Papaleo reported this to the Hong Kong authorities. The evidence gathered by Papaleo allowed Hong Kong police to detain Jariabka in June 2013. The same evidence was also used by a Hong Kong court, which on Sept. 8 found Jariabka guilty of running a money laundering scheme that stretched from Eastern Europe to Dubai and Hong Kong.
Photo courtesy of Wing1990hk.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.