Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam keeps 'piles of cash' at home due to US sanctions

WION Web Team
Hong Kong, China Published: Nov 29, 2020, 11.25 AM(IST)

Carrie Lam Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The move by Washington freezes the US assets of the officials and criminalises any financial transactions in the US.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said she keeps “piles of cash” at home because she has no bank account after the United States imposed sanctions on her.

The move by Washington freezes the US assets of the officials and criminalises any financial transactions in the US.

Lam was targetted with sanctions, along with 14 other senior city officials, in the toughest US action on Hong Kong yet since Beijing imposed the new law on the territory in late June.

In an interview with local English TV channel HKIBC aired on Friday night, Lam said she was “using cash every day for all the things” after being sanctioned.

“Sitting in front of you is a chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR [Special Administrative Region] who has no banking services made available to her. I’m using cash for all the things,” Lam told HKIBC. “I have piles of cash at home, the government is paying me cash for my salary because I don’t have a bank account.”

But Lam said she was keen to avoid deterring anyone from serving in public office, adding: “To be so unjustifiably sanctioned by the US government, it’s an honour.”

In August, Lam had told media that she faced “a little bit of inconvenience” as a result of the sanctions which hampered her use of credit cards.

Lam earns HK$5.21m (US$672,000) a year, and is one of the highest paid leaders in the world.

Her remarks sparked a public backlash, with social media users posting photos of coins in their piggy banks at home to contrast with Lam’s wealth. Others questioned how her large salary would be transported to her residence in cash.

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