The ICAC said Thursday that it, along with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), searched eight locations and arrested three Convoy executives on 7 December.
Following the raids, Convoy’s share price fell 7%, forcing the firm the request trading of it shares to be halted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx).
After trading was stopped, Convoy released a statement confirming that two executive directors of the company had been arrested, however it made no mention of the third arrest.
It has been widely reported that deputy chairwoman and executive director of financial advisers, Rosetta Fong Sut-Sam, and executive director Christie Chan Lai-yee were the two arrests.
“The company has followed standard protocol to adopt prudent measures to immediately suspend the work responsibilities of the two executive directors, in order to support the investigation of the Authority,” the Convoy statement said.
Hong Kong financial firm Lerado Finance Group released a statement on the HKEx on 8 December saying the company has been “invited to assist” the ICAC in an investigation.
The South China Morning Post has reported that Lerado chairman and chief executive Mark Mak Kwoong-yiu was also arrested in relation to the Convoy investigation.
Mak was chief executive of Convoy from 2010 to March 2016.
Sources told the Post the trio were arrested in relation to lending activity that may be considered corrupt.
In June 2017, the SFC ordered Lerado to suspend trading after the regulator alleged the firm gave misleading information in an announcement in 2015.
“The company is cooperating with ICAC in providing documents and records,” Lerado executive director Lai Kin Chung said.
“The company will monitor developments closely and take legal advice as to the appropriate steps it should take going forward if and when more information becomes available,” he said.
In November 2016, Convoy paid £24m (€27.2m, $32.1m) for a stake in UK investment platform Nutmeg.
At the time UK chancellor Philip Hammond praised the move saying Britain was leading the way forward in global Fintech.
“This is another international investment into a home-grown UK company, demonstrating the UK is open for business,” Hammond said.
Following the acquisition, Convoy held about 17% of Nutmeg’s shares.