Policies regarding the regulation of money lenders

The request was partially successful.

Dear Hong Kong Police Force Crime Wing,

1. I would like to obtain information (i.e. policies, procedures, manuals, specific references to legislations) clarifying your office's obligations and powers to investigate, arrest, and charge money lenders.

2. I would like to know which departments of your office are responsible for: (i) receiving complaints against moneylenders; (ii) investigating potential violations of the Money Lenders Ordinance (Cap. 163) ("MLO"); (iii) investigating potential violations of the Money Lenders Regulations ("MLR"); (iv) investigating potential violations of the Licensing Conditions of Money Lenders ("Licensing Conditions"); (v) forwarding cases to the Department of Justice for advice; and (vi) objecting to money lenders licenses through the magistrates courts.

3a. I would like to know the replies of money lenders in response to the surveys sent to them by your office (regarding loan statistics and borrower information). If personal privacy is of concern, I would like to receive a summary or disaggregated statistics of those replies.
3b. Specifically, I would like to know: (i) the number and amount of loans granted to borrowers with an income below HKD5,000 per month; and (ii) the number and amount of loans granted to foriegn domestic helpers.

4. Are there are regular trainings for your officers regarding issues relating to the MLO, MLR, Licensing Conditions, and new issues in those respect? If so, how frequest are the trainings? Are they mandatory or optional?

5. Are there mechanisms in place for complainants to make statements against money lenders (particularly for foreign domestic workers to do so)? If so, is it possible for foreign domestic workers to schedule an appointment to make a statement with your office on weekends with interpretation assistance?

Yours faithfully,

Charlie

香港警務處 刑事部

Dear Charlie,

Our department has received your application for access to
information on 2021-05-04. Your application is now under processing.
According to paragraph 1.16 of the Code on Access to Information, our
department will inform you of the latest progress of the case separately on
or before 2021-05-24. In the meantime, please contact me at 2860 8157 if
you have any enquiry.

Regards,
Claudia NG
EO Crime A&P
Hong Kong Police Force
Tel: 2860 8157

*** This e-mail message (together with any attachments) is for the
designated recipient only. It may contain information that is privileged.
If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any
use, retention, disclosure, copying, printing, forwarding or dissemination
of the message is strictly prohibited. If you have received the message in
error, please erase all copies of the message (including attachments) from
your system and notify the sender immediately. ***

*** 此電郵訊息(連同任何附件)只發送給指定收件人。訊息可能包含享有特權資
料。謹此通知,如你並非預定收件人,嚴禁使用、保留、披露、複製、列印、轉發或
發布此訊息。如收到誤發的訊息,請把訊息的所有副本(包括附件)從系統內清除,並
立即通知發件人。***

香港警務處 刑事部

Dear Charlie,

        I refer to your request dated 2021-05-04.  Please find the
requested information below for your perusal.

Q1

The business of lending money is regulated by the Money Lenders Ordinance,
Cap.163, Laws of Hong Kong (the Ordinance).  Under section 7(1) of the
Ordinance, no person shall carry on business as a money lender without a
licence; at any place other than the premises specified in the licence; or
otherwise than in accordance with the conditions of the licence.

The Police, in accordance with the Ordinance, take enforcement actions
against illegal money lending business, including cases in which the rates
of interest on loans exceeded 60% per annum as well as criminal acts
associated with the licensed money lenders or debt collection companies
acting on their behalf.

Q2

Complaints against money lenders can be made at any police station.  

Crime investigation teams are usually responsible for handling reports of
suspected breach of the Money Lenders Ordinance, Money Lenders Regulations
and/or licensing conditions on money lender licence and seeking legal
advice from the Department of Justice when required.  

The Police Licensing Office is the unit responsible for raising objection
to application for a Money Lenders Licence at the Licensing Court.

Q3

The Police has not conducted the surveys in question.

Q4

The Police provides different types of training to police officers
responsible for different aspects of enforcement actions in relation to
Money Lender Ordinance, Money Lenders Regulations and money lender
licence.  These trainings are of different formats, frequencies and
focuses.

Q5

For any members of the public (including foreign domestic workers), if
would like to provide crime information to the Police, may report the case
to the nearest police station at any time.

When crime investigation team take over a report of suspected breach of
the Money Lenders Ordinance, Money Lenders Regulations and/or licensing
conditions on money lender licence, the investigation officer will contact
the informant(s) and/or victim(s) of the case for taking statement, and
interpreter will be arranged whenever necessary.
2.        For enquiry, please contact me at 2860 8156.

Regards,
Ms Shirley HO
Crime Wing Access to Information Officer
for Commissioner of Police

*** This e-mail message (together with any attachments) is for the
designated recipient only. It may contain information that is privileged.
If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any
use, retention, disclosure, copying, printing, forwarding or dissemination
of the message is strictly prohibited. If you have received the message in
error, please erase all copies of the message (including attachments) from
your system and notify the sender immediately. ***
*** 此電郵訊息(連同任何附件)只發送給指定收件人。訊息可能包含享有特權資料。
謹此通知,如你並非預定收件人,嚴禁使用、保留、披露、複製、列印、轉發或發布
此訊息。如收到誤發的訊息,請把訊息的所有副本(包括附件)從系統內清除,並立即
通知發件人。***