Alani Mundie, CFE
ACFE International Law Enforcement Liaison
After our exciting visit to Singapore, Leslie Simpson, Director of Membership, and I continued on to Hong Kong where we were greeted by a vibrant culture, interesting foods and friendly faces. Much like our Singapore trip, the purpose of our visit to Hong Kong was to meet with our Hong Kong Chapter and local law enforcement agencies and businesses in an effort to grow our ACFE Law Enforcement Partnership and Corporate Alliance programs. Given the significant amount of membership growth in Hong Kong, it was our mission to extend the benefits of these programs to fraud fighters in this region, as well as learn more about their specific needs.
The learning experience didn’t stop there. Around every corner we turned was a new sight, new smell or new flavor that neither of us had ever experienced. The colorful open-air markets were by far my favorite. In the short time we were there, we made it to the Ladies Market, the Jade Market, the Fish Market and the Mongkok Electronic Market. Of these, the Fish Market was the most intriguing. Fishmongers chopped up large bass, grouper and tuna faster than I have ever seen, and among the eclectic variety of fish being sold were such exotic delicacies like geoduck, colorful mollusks, eel and urchins. Geoduck, the local favorite, is an alien-like clam that is one of the oldest living organisms on the planet; it can live up to 160 years! Big buckets of live water snakes, that we hoped not to accidentally drop our cameras into, lined the vendor stands, and it was fascinating to get a taste of the differences in culture … literally.
With the advice and guidance from our Hong Kong Chapter Board members, we saw so much of Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula, which is where we stayed. The famous Victoria Harbour separating the two was an impressive array of ships and lights and added to the unique beauty of Hong Kong. Penny Fung, Hong Kong Chapter President, took us to the top of Victoria’s Peak, which overlooked a decadently lit up skyline that is home to the fourth tallest skyscraper in the world. At street level, the densely populated roads (Hong Kong has nearly 7 million residents) laden with dried seafood shops and buildings covered in bamboo scaffolding paved the way to an unforgettable experience.
We went to Asia not knowing what would be awaiting us across the Pacific and came back with stronger friendships with our chapters in Singapore and Hong Kong, new contacts and memories to last a lifetime. Oh … and several bags of souvenirs, of course.