Nelson Cheng joined the Hong Kong Police in 1987 and was promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations) in 2016. Between 2006 and 2007, Mr Cheng was seconded to the HKSAR Government Secretariat to act as a law enforcement advisor to the Commissioner for Narcotics on anti-money laundering and was a core member of the HKSAR delegation to the Financial Action Task Force and Egmont Group’s Plenary and Working Group Meetings. He headed the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit of Hong Kong between 2007 and 2010 and moved to Operations in 2010 upon his promotion to the rank of Senior Superintendent.
Until his retirement at the end of 2018, Mr Cheng was the policy holder of the Hong Kong Police on Illegal Immigration, Counter–Terrorism, Search and Rescue, Public Order and Safety, as well as Aviation, Boundary, and Internal Security. Mr Cheng was a visiting fellow of the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC in 2011, during which he undertook research into global solutions for transnational organised crime. He was also a member of the Global Agenda Council on Organised Crime of the World Economic Forum between 2011 and 2014 and became a member of the Advisory Council of the Wildlife Justice Commission in 2015. Mr Cheng is presently the Executive Director of a Hong Kong-based consultancy on security and anti-money laundering.