Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said that she has been forced to keep piles of cash around her home after she was sanctioned by the US.
In an interview published on Friday, Lam told the Hong Kong International Business Channel that she was a leader “who has no banking services made available to her.”
“I’m using cash every day. I have piles of cash at home – the government is paying me cash for my salary because I don’t have a bank account.”
In October, the US Treasury Department added 11 people to its blacklist of “Specially Designated Nationals” including Lam. They were targetted at top officials seen to be undermining the city’s autonomy.
“The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at the time. The local government, in turn, called the move “blatant and barbaric interference.”
Lam said that she did not want to deter others from public service as her set of circumstances were “very honourable” having been sanctioned “unjustifiably.”
UK activist Luke de Pulford shared the video of Lam on Friday, saying on Twitter: “Note to those who don’t believe Magnitsky sanctions work. The best 56 seconds of this week.”
Lam is paid over HK$5.2 million per year as chief executive.