Ng Lap Seng has made the news in recent weeks following his detention in New York which was handed to him after he allegedly lied to U.S. authorities regarding the purpose of the USD4.5 million he brought into the country, and more recently as a result of allegations that Ng was involved in a U.N. bribery case.
A confidential report by Steve Vickers, former HKPD detective and CEO of Steve Vickers and Associates Ltd (SVA) security consultation firm, investigates Ng Lap Seng’s background. MDT had access to this report, a scrutiny of which raised a number of “red flags” in relation to Ng.
Ng, born in 1948, is a native of Guangdong Province and moved to Macau in 1979, starting his career trading cheap garments. By the early 1990s, he had become a very wealthy businessman, and proceeded to expand into the real estate investment and development business sectors.
Today he is the owner and chairman of the San Kin Yip (SKY) Group – a group with total investments exceeding HKD10 billion divided between Hong Kong and Macau. One of his more recent developments – a residential project of 1,500 units called “Windsor Arch” – has generated some controversy in regards to obstructing the view of existing residents in the area. The most publicized of Ng’s projects is the Fortuna Hotel, which the Macau magnate owns jointly.
Ng is considered to be a highly influential individual in the Guangdong and Greater China circles. Aside from being a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), he is also said to have close connections with senior PLA officials – many of whom frequently visit his Fortuna Hotel. Despite his extensive connections among the Guangdong and Beijing elites, the Steve Vickers report indicates that Ng “keeps a low-profile socially.”
Ng does not have a criminal record but is reported to be involved in a number of illicit activities. He is portrayed in some of the media as a “Macau Crime Lord” and, according the report, “a kingpin of the international slave prostitution trade”. It is reported that the Fortuna acts as a ‘hangout’ for the Shui Fong Triad – a group that is notorious for loan-sharking, protections rackets and prostitution in Macau.
Among the circle of political elites to which Ng has access is the Clintons and their administration. Eyebrows have been raised concerning the connection, especially due to the number of visits, including one such visit that ended in Ng staying over at the Whitehouse as an official guest. Additionally, a third-party who it appears is close to the Clintons is also Ng’s associate Charlie “Yah Lin” Trie – an Arkansas restaurant owner and alleged member of the 14K Triad Group.
Ng has been accredited with large donations made to the Clinton team, but these were reportedly later returned, possibly as a consequence of various concerns in the media about the origin of the funds. Some media reports from the time openly suggested that Ng had been linked to organized crime in Asia.
Although there have been a number of litigation proceedings against Ng Lap Seng, none have resulted in prosecution. In 2002, the late Nina Wang is thought to have had a legal dispute with Ng when she filed a claim against him for an alleged failure to provide certain information ahead of a prospective acquisition. She filed again in 2006 for a misrepresentation of a company’s franchises. In 2007, it was reported that SKY refused to abide by a court order in relation to unpaid construction work in Zhuhai.