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Appeals Court Reverses Stage Money Counterfeiting Conviction in Hong Kong

The film props master who was earlier found guilty of possessing counterfeit money by owning dummy banknotes used in Hong Kong film “Trivisa” had his name cleared on Monday. A High Court ruled that he was improperly convicted.

In an appeal, the court ruled in favor of Cheung Wai-chuen, owner of a well-known film properties company who was sentenced to a four-month suspended sentence in May. Law Yun-lam, a logistics firm employee, received the same sentence.

In 2016, when crime thriller “Trivisa” was released, Cheung was said to have loaned 9,996 bogus HK$1,000 banknotes to Law for a prank. The police found the banknotes in Law’s car and 223,000 more banknotes at Cheung’s warehouse. Although the banknotes were labelled as movie props, the pair were found guilty.

The appeals judge said that the original district court judge did not inspect each and every single fake banknote before deciding that the props money could be mistaken as real cash.

The original ruling quickly drew condemnation from the local film industry. The judge said that the court was not responsible for how a ruling could affect an industry and that its decisions are only based on evidence.

The local film industry welcomed the appeals ruling, while calling for the government to establish a proper channel for communication and application for approval for producing props banknotes.

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