Billionaire owner of Vancouver’s Aspac Developments gets five years in jail

Aspac is known in Metro Vancouver for developing projects in Coal Harbour and in Richmond

One of Aspac Developments' marquee projects in Metro Vancouver is Harbour Green Three | Ledcor

Hong Kong billionaire Thomas Kwok, whose Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd.’s Canadian subsidiary Aspac Developments has developed many Metro Vancouver projects, was sentenced December 23 to five years in jail for bribery.

Hong Kong's High Court also fined the former Sun Hung Kai Properties co-chairman HK$500,000 ($74,872) for conspiring to corrupt Hong Kong’s former chief secretary, Rafael Hui, who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.

Appeals are expected.

Kwok's brother, Raymond Kwok, was also tried on charges but was acquitted and is now the company's sole chairman.

Sun Hung Kai Properties is reputed to be Hong Kong’s largest developer.

Kwok, who is 63, together with brothers Walter and Raymond, inherited the company in 1990 after their father, founder Kwok Tak Seng, died.

Aspac is currently marketing Richmond River Green – a 27-acre master planned community on the Fraser River with unobstructed views of North Shore Mountains.

The high-end project mimics Aspac’s success on Coal Harbour, where it has developed at least eight buildings including, sequentially, One Habour Green, Two Harbour Green and Three Harbour Green.

Other Aspac projects include the 17-storey Wesbrook luxury condominium tower at the University of British Columbia. 

The bribery charges arose after Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption alleged that Kwok paid $5.1 million in bribes to 66-year-old Hui in exchange for information on pending land sales.

gkorstrom@biv.com 

@GlenKorstrom