The owners of a well known Chinese restaurant in South Wales have been ordered to pay £1.5m after a judge ruled they had been involved in money laundering.
Kin Chan, 42, and his wife Carina, 32, owners of the Happy Gathering restaurant in Cardiff, were told that if they do not fulfil the confiscation order within 12 months Chan would be jailed for five years and his wife for two-and-a-half years.
In 2005, Chan was jailed for six months and his wife was given a three months suspended sentence after being found guilty of VAT and tax evasion by under declaring the turnover at the Happy Gathering restaurant.
Following that case the All Wales Regional Asset Recovery began an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act and found that the couple had an extensive undeclared property portfolio with at least 17 hidden bank accounts.
Issuing the confiscation order at Cardiff Crown Court, Judge David Wynn Morgan said: "These defendants have a criminal lifestyle and I am making an order requiring them to pay a specific amount.
"If they don't pay within 12 months they face prison and significant quantities of interest on the money outstanding. It is sufficient incentive for them to complete payment."
A spokesman for Cardiff police said there were no plans for the restaurant, which employs up to 20 members of staff, to be closed down.
By Andrew Smith
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