Offences of using and possessing a false instrument

Offences of using a false instrument

Under section 73 of the Crimes Ordinance (“CO”) , any person who is convicted of the offences of using a false documents shall be liable for maximum imprisonment for 14 years.

 

Offences of possessing a false instrument

Under section 75(1) CO, any person who [1] possesses a false instrument and [2] induces somebody to accept it as genuine, [3] resulting in the representor acting or not acting in a way in prejudice to others, shall be liable for maximum imprisonment for 14 years.

Also, under section 75(2) CO, any person who simply possesses a false instrument shall be liable for maximum imprisonment for 3 years.

 

False instrument

The form of the instrument is immaterial to the offence. In R v Lan Tat Kwong, the defendant photocopied the false invoice and used it to obtain money from a company.  The defendant was convicted and he appealed against the conviction. In dismissing the case, the appellate court asserted that

 

‘to be a false document this document must tell an untruth about itself, not an untruth about some other document of which it purports to be no more than a copy.’

 

The Court considered that the appellant ‘copied and pasted’ the false materials and photocopied the document to obtain money from the company. The document was clearly a false one and photocopying the document was just a method to commit the offence.

 

In this case, it can be seen that a false instrument can be in a wide rages of forms, with reference to section 69 CO. Only the false nature of the instrument is material to the offence.

 

Sentences

 

Cases Facts Sentences
HKSAR v Ra Hyun Bin & Ors

 

The defendants jointly used a false Standby Letter of Credit with an intent to obtain money from the bank

  1. Convicted
  2. One of the defendants’ appeal against conviction was quashed
3 years’ to 3 years and 6 months’ imprisonment for all defendants
HKSAR v Song Chang Moo

 

The defendant conspired with other defendants to obtain money from the bank with the forged two bank drafts and a letter of confirmation

  1. Convicted
  2. Appeal against conviction was quashed
3 years’ imprisonment

 

 

 

 

HKSAR v Woo Mei Bo, Mable The defendant presented the copy of a false bank statement and induced others to believe that the instrument was genuine and act in a prejudiced way

  1. Convicted
  2. Appeal against sentencing was quashed
6 years’ imprisonment

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