Hong Kong billionaire fugitive auctions Hermès bags for over $3 million

Hong Kong billionaire fugitive auctions Hermès bags for over $3 million
via Forbes Asia
Michelle De Pacina
February 10, 2023
Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau sold 77 luxury handbags for 25.2 million Hong Kong dollars (approximately $3.2 million) in a recent online auction.
The collection was the largest single-owner handbag sale in Asia’s auction market, according to auction house Sotheby’s.
The auction included one Chanel and 76 Hermès handbags, including limited edition pieces from Jean-Paul Gaultier, who was the creative director of Hermès from 2004 to 2010.
Lau has reportedly purchased more than 1,500 Hermès bags in his lifetime. His family currently owns more than 1,000.
The sale took place from Jan. 30 to Feb. 9. 
Other items sold included six diamond Birkins and a rare bronze metallic Kelly. 
A 2006 Bleu Jean Shiny Porosus Crocodile Birkin 25 with 18-karat white gold and diamond hardware was the most expensive item at the auction. It was sold for more than 1.5 million Hong Kong dollars (approximately $190,000).
According to the auction house, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity. However, the percentage figure was not disclosed.
Lau is scheduled to hold another auction featuring his handbag collection in July 2023.
The 71-year-old former chairman of Hong Kong developer Chinese Estates Holdings Ltd. is one of the 10 richest people in Hong Kong.
According to Forbes, he currently has a net worth of $13.2 billion. Bloomberg, on the other hand, lists his net worth at $6.11 billion.
Lau is known for owning an extensive collection of paintings, luxury items and fine wines. He owns well-known paintings such as “Mao” by Andy Warhol and “Everything Must Go” by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
In 2015, he made headlines for buying his daughter a 12-carat blue diamond for 48.6 million Swiss francs (approximately $53 million). 
The billionaire was previously convicted of bribery and money laundering in Macau in 2014.
Lau was found guilty of paying 20 million Hong Kong dollars (approximately $2.5 million) to former Macau public works chief Ao Man-long in a money-for-land deal. 
However, he was never imprisoned as there is no extradition agreement between Macau and Hong Kong.
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