Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung was due to appear in a Hong Kong court Thursday charged with money-laundering offences a day after he was arrested by narcotics police, witnesses and police said.
A sombre-looking Yeung, 51, was driven to the court in a police van and was due to appear before a judge shortly, an AFP journalist said.
The millionaire former hairdresser was arrested on Wednesday. Police said a 51-year-old man had been "charged with five counts of dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence".
Narcotics Bureau officers had searched two locations and seized documents, a police statement said.
Yeung took control of the English football club in October 2009 in an 81 million pound ($130 million) takeover from David Sullivan and David Gold, now the co-owners of West Ham.
The club revealed on Thursday that Yeung was assisting the Hong Kong police in relation to criminal investigations.
Birmingham's acting chairman Peter Pannu insisted the inquiries had "nothing to do" with the Midlands club's parent company, Birmingham International Holdings.
"People are reminded that in recent years members of the previous board were placed on bail for a significant amount of time and nothing came of it," he said.
"I am only using this as an example to calm any fears. The law says a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty," Pannu said.
"Until I find out more information about this matter there is no further comment to be made."
Birmingham were relegated from the English Premier League on the final day of last season and recently saw manager Alex McLeish quit to join arch-rivals Aston Villa, still in the top flight.
Former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton was appointed as McLeish's replacement at St Andrew's last week.
Little was known about Yeung prior to his emergence in the English game.
His name first appeared on the Hong Kong stock exchange's record books when he bought a 16.67 percent stake in clothes company Grandtop International in June 2007 which made him a major shareholder of the firm.
Through Grandtop, Yeung bought a minority stake in Birmingham City from its directors in a deal worth 15 million pounds before going on to take full control.
According to several reports, he was trained as a hairdresser in the 1990s before becoming a wealthy businessman with a fortune estimated at $300 million after successful investments in penny stocks.
He rode on the Macau gambling fever in 2004 when he co-founded Greek Mythology, a casino in the former Portuguese enclave.© ANP/AFP