Carson Yeung, who bought Birmingham two years ago for 81.5 million pounds ($131 million), appeared in court to face the charges of dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offense. The charges involve sums of money deposited in bank accounts from January 2001 to December 2007, according to a charge sheet.
Yeung was granted bail but ordered to surrender his travel documents and not allowed to leave Hong Kong.
Hong Kong police referred inquiries about Yeung's arrest to a statement which only confirmed that a 51-year-old man was arrested Wednesday.
Narcotics Bureau officers searched two locations and seized some documents, the statement said.
Yeung was arrested after police officers went to his home in an upscale neighborhood Wednesday, the Hong Kong Standard newspaper reported.
Birmingham City's acting chairman Peter Pannu said in a statement posted on the team's website that Yeung is assisting police with the investigation of "certain criminal activities" but he believes they do not have any connection "to the operation of the parent company or any of its subsidiaries." Yeung said when he bought Birmingham in 2009 that he hoped to build up the team's fan base in China and generate new sources of revenue. He also pledged to strengthen the squad by investing up to 40 million pounds ($64.4 million) for the January transfer window.
Pannu said lawyers for parent Birmingham International Holdings Ltd. informed him that the investigation has "nothing to do with the operation of the club, and relate to other matters." Birmingham's 48-year wait for a title ended in February after winning the League Cup but the team was relegated from the English Premier League in May following a defeat in its last match at Tottenham.
Shares of Hong Kong-listed Birmingham International, in which Yeung has a 26 percent stake, have been suspended from trading. No one at the company was available to comment.
The case was adjourned until Aug. 11.