Chan Meng Ieng, wife of imprisoned former Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) high-ranking official Ao Man Long was sentenced to 23 years in prison by the SAR's Court of First Instance (TJB) Wednesday.
Chan along with three of Ao's family members and three business associates were convicted of money laundering and bribery, according to the verdict. The trial of the case began in January this year.
TJB also sentenced Ao's brother Ao Man Fu, sister-in-law Ao Chan Wa Choi, and father Ao Veng Kong to 18, 13 and 10 years in prison, respectively. Meanwhile, the three businessmen, Ho Meng Fai, Chan Tong Sang and Frederico Nolasco da Silva were sentenced to prison time, ranging from 7 to 10 years, and were ordered by the court to compensate the government with different amounts of money.
The 51-year-old Ao Man Long, former SAR secretary for transport and public works, is currently serving his 27-year long prison time in Macao, as he was convicted of 57 of the 76 charges by the Court of Final Appeal, including corruption, money laundering, abuse of power and related crimes, in January this year.
Ao was accused of amassing a personal fortune of more than 800 million patacas (around 100 million U.S. dollars) between 2002 and2006 by taking kickbacks for at least 41 public works and private development projects, including casino projects.
In reading out the verdict at the court, the president of the TJB's judging-panel said that what the defendants did has brought up an "excessively negative impact" on the local society and its rule-of-law structure, as they helped Ao Man Long breach his public obligations and avoid the legal consequences of his unlawful behaviors through various means and to different extent.
Although convicted, Chan Meng Ieng and Ho Meng Fai were both believed to have absconded abroad, who are currently wanted by the Interpol.
Ao Veng Kong and Frederico Nolasco da Silva lodged appeals soon after the declaration of their verdicts, and TJB spared them from imprisonment immediately after being convicted so that they can wait for the result of their appeal.