HONG KONG, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Four people have been charged with fraud and money laundering at Pearl Oriental Oil Limited , Hong Kong's anti-corruption watchdog said on Monday.
The company, whose shares were suspended from trading on Monday pending the announcement, had been under investigation since February 2012 in connection with an acquisition of natural gas and oil fields in the United States.
Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption said it had arrested the four in January this year on suspicion of making false statements to the stock exchange about the deal.
The defendants are Wong Yuk Kwan, chairman and executive director of Pearl Oriental Oil; Lew Mon Hung, former deputy chairman and executive director; Yip Sui Kuen Kitty, vice financial officer and administrative manager of the company; and Yik Siu Hung, whose relationship to Pearl Oriental was not specified.
All four have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to defraud, while Yik and Yip have also been charged with money laundering. Lawyers for the accused could not be reached for comment. Pearl Oriental declined to comment.
The company's shares closed on Monday at HK$0.330, their lowest close since mid-2009.