Recent ICAC Cases


25
Jan 2022
Five charged by ICAC for defrauding investors of JPY400m and money launderingThe ICAC today (January 25) charges three former bank managers and a self-employed financial consultant with multiple offences, including conspiring with four foreign nationals to deceive Japanese investors into investing over JPY400 million (about HK$28.4 million) in a number of companies which claimed to take part in investment projects in Africa by falsely representing that the bank held asset of at least 3.3 billion euros (about HK$25.5 billion) on behalf of those companies; and by using false bank documents. A co-defendant is charged with conspiracy to deal with crime proceeds totalling about HK$55 million.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Upon completion of the investigation, the ICAC sought legal advice from the Department of Justice, which advised pressing a total of eight charges against the defendants.Four of the defendants, Woo Man-ho, 34; Chan Tak-ching, 34; and Leung Ho-yin, 35, all former relationship managers of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (Standard Chartered Bank); and Law Man-fai, 48, self-employed financial consultant; face seven counts of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.Co-defendant Catherine Kum Kit-ching, 53, manager of ADF Capital Limited (ADF), faces one count of conspiracy to deal with property known or believed to represent proceeds of indictable offence, contrary to Section 25(1) of the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.All defendants were released on ICAC bail, pending their court appearance in the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday (January 27) for mention.At the material time, Woo, Chan and Leung were relationship managers of Standard Chartered Bank. The bank would issue documents to confirm the balance of a client’s account held with the bank upon request, but the trio were not authorised to sign and issue those documents. Kum was a manager of ADF which held accounts with Standard Chartered Bank, while Law was a self-employed financial consultant.The alleged offences took place between January 2015 and January 2019. During the period, the defendants had allegedly conspired with four foreign nationals to defraud various Japanese investors to invest in ADF and a number of companies by using false documents, namely proof of fund letters and corporate refund promissory notes (CRPNs), purportedly issued by Standard Chartered Bank and signed by Woo and Chan.The four foreign nationals involved were a Zambian man and a Korean man, both shareholders-cum-directors of ADF; a Thai man, an account holder of Standard Chartered Bank and Chan’s client; and a Japanese woman, who was a company director.Four of the charges allege that Woo conspired with Chan, Law, the Thai man, the Zambian man and the Japanese woman to defraud investors by falsely representing that (i) Standard Chartered Bank was holding on behalf of the Thai man asset of 3.3 billion euros (about HK$25.5 billion), which was assigned to ADF to finance and execute economic and humanitarian projects in Africa, (ii) the bank confirmed that a company of the Zambian man had funds of US$1.5 billion (about HK$11.6 billion) available for investments in Africa, and (iii) that company had asset of US$2 billion (about HK$15.5 billion) in the account held with the bank.ICAC inquiries revealed that Standard Chartered Bank had never held the aforesaid asset on behalf of the Thai man, while the Zambian man’s company had never hold any bank account with the bank. The above false representations involved issuance of false proof of fund letters.Three other charges allege that Woo and Chan conspired with Leung, Law, the Zambian man, the Korean man and the Japanese woman to defraud investors by falsely representing that Standard Chartered Bank was the guarantor of ADF which undertook to pay the relevant investors by way of eight CRPNs.It is alleged that the eight CRPNs involved promised returns totalling over US$207 million (about HK$1.6 billion). As a result of the false representations, various Japanese investors were deceived into making investments totalling at least JPY400 million (about HK$28.4 million) to ADF and a number of companies involved in this case.The remaining charge alleges that Kum conspired together with the Zambian man and the Korean man to deal with a total sum of over HK$7.3 million and over US$6.1 million (about HK$47.5 million) in an account in another bank, knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that the sum, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly represented the proceeds of an indictable offence.Standard Chartered Bank has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case. As the investigation is continuing, the ICAC does not rule out further law enforcement actions.
13
Jan 2022
Two former insurance agents charged by ICAC admit $750,000 commission fraudTwo former insurance agents, charged by the ICAC, today (January 12) admitted in court that they had conspired to defraud an insurance company of commissions totalling over $750,000 by falsely representing that one of them had handled 10 insurance policies.Tin Tak-ho, 47, former senior branch manager of Manulife (International) Limited (Manulife), and Alvin Tam Man-chan, 56, former insurance agent of Manulife, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law. Tin further pleaded guilty to five counts of forgery, contrary to Section 71 of the Crimes Ordinance.District Court Judge Mr Isaac Tam Sze-lok adjourned the case to February 9 for sentence. Tin was remanded in the custody of the Correctional Services Department while Tam was granted cash bail.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Subsequent enquiries revealed the above offences.The court heard that at the material time, Tin was a senior branch manager of Manulife and Tam was his down-line agent. When an insurance product of Manulife was sold, the handling agent would receive a commission while his up-line managers would receive overriding commissions and/or bonuses from Manulife.In December 2017, Manulife received 10 insurance policy application forms submitted by Tin. The application forms were purportedly signed by nine persons as applicants and Tam as the handling agent. Manulife subsequently released commissions totalling over $470,000 to Tam as the handling agent, and overriding commissions totalling about $280,000 to Tin in respect of those insurance policies.ICAC inquiries revealed that the duo had reached an agreement to name Tam as the handling agent of insurance policy applications secured by Tin. Tam did not procure the 10 insurance policies or meet the applicants concerned. The relevant initial premiums were arranged by Tin to pay to Manulife and Tam returned the commissions received from the company to Tin.Had Manulife known that the 10 application forms contained false information, it would not underwrote and issued the insurance policies, nor would it paid the commissions and overriding commissions to Tam and Tin respectively.Five of the relevant applicants confirmed that they had not applied for the insurance policies concerned and it was revealed that the relevant application forms were forged by Tin without their knowledge.Manulife had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Paggie Lee, assisted by ICAC officer William Leung.To protect the interests of all parties, policyholders are reminded to verify the policy details and identity of the handling agent when signing policy documents. Over the years, the ICAC has been actively promoting corruption prevention services to insurance organisations and arranging ethics training for practitioners. For details, please visit the Ethics Promotion Website for the Insurance Industry (hkbedc.icac.hk/insurance/en/).
13
Jan 2022
Ex-security guard charged by ICAC admits bribing supervisorsA former security guard, charged by the ICAC, today (January 13) admitted at the Shatin Magistrates’ Courts that he had offered bribes totalling $8,000 to his supervisors on three occasions over a period of 18 months for arranging him to act as and get promoted to assistant supervisor.Tang Kam-ngau, 57, former security guard of Hong Kong Guards Limited (HKGL), pleaded guilty to three counts of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.Acting Principal Magistrate Mr David Cheung Chi-wai adjourned the case to March 10 for sentence. The defendant was granted cash bail.At the material time, the defendant was a security guard of HKGL posted to Shui Chuen O Estate, a public housing estate in Shatin. A total of about 40 security guards worked at the estate under the supervision of a supervisor and several assistant supervisors.When an assistant supervisor was absent from duty, the supervisor had the discretion to appoint a security guard to act for the post. The acting appointment involved a daily acting allowance.The court heard that the defendant had complained to his supervisor for not having the opportunity to act up as an assistant supervisor. Subsequently on two occasions, the defendant gave two red packets containing cash of $6,000 in total to the supervisor upon the latter’s solicitation.Thereafter, the defendant was arranged to act as an assistant supervisor on about 70 occasions and received acting allowance totalling about $3,200 between April 2019 and December 2020.In November 2020, the defendant asked an assistant supervisor who would soon assume the post of supervisor about his chance of promotion. Upon the assistant supervisor’s solicitation, the defendant gave her a red packet containing cash of $2,000. However, the offer was not accepted as the defendant was told it did not meet the amount required.HKGL prohibited its staff members from soliciting and accepting advantages in relation to their official duties.The investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Upon completion of the investigation, the ICAC sought legal advice from the Department of Justice, which advised charges be laid against the defendant.HKGL had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by Acting Senior Public Prosecutor Steven Liu, assisted by ICAC officer Jeff Ng.
11
Jan 2022
Ex-construction worker guilty of bribery and fraudA former construction worker, charged by the ICAC, was today (January 11) convicted at the Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Courts of bribery over the employment of a fellow worker and made false representation to another worker over his Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) contribution so as to defraud him of part of his wages.Chan Ki-lok, 26, former construction worker of Asian Projects Company Limited (Asian Projects), was convicted of four charges – one of agent accepting an advantage and two of agent soliciting an advantage, all contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, and one of fraud, contrary to Section 16A of the Theft Ordinance.Magistrate Mr Jeffrey Sze Cho-yiu adjourned the case to January 25 for sentence, pending background and community service order reports. The defendant was remanded in the custody of the Correctional Services Department.The magistrate also ordered the defendant to repay $1,000 as restitution to Asian Project and pay $5,800 as compensation to one of the workers involved.The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was a construction worker of Asian Projects, which was the construction contractor of a construction project in Lun Kwu Tan, Tuen Mun. Two workers were employed by Asian Projects and started to work for the construction project at a daily wage of $950 in September and October 2019 respectively.In October 2019, the defendant requested one of the workers to pay him $50 per working day as a rebate for referring him to work for Asian Projects. About a week later, the defendant accepted $1,000 cash from the worker, being rebates for the 20 days the latter worked at the aforesaid construction site.In December 2019, the defendant further solicited a rebate of $650 twice from the above worker. No payment was further made to the defendant.ICAC inquiries also revealed that on two other occasions in September and October 2019, the defendant told another worker that the latter was required to pay $50 per day as MPF contribution.Between October and December 2019, the construction worker transferred a total of $5,800 to the bank account of the defendant in the belief that he was contributing to his MPF.Asian Projects had not requested the defendant to recruit or refer fellow workers for the company. The company had not authorised or allowed the defendant to collect any MPF contribution from the worker concerned.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Upon completion of the investigation, the ICAC sought legal advice from the Department of Justice, which advised prosecuting the defendant. Asian Projects had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Kelvin Tang, assisted by ICAC officer Chu Ka-ho.Construction workers are further reminded not to pay illegal rebate should they encounter any solicitation and to report the matter to the ICAC immediately.
11
Jan 2022
Suspended sentence for assisting team leader to accept bribes over Third Runway Project construction jobsA former construction worker of a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project of the Hong Kong International Airport (Third Runway Project), charged by the ICAC, was today (January 11) sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, for assisting a site team leader to accept illegal rebates totalling $10,200 from three other workers over their employment. Two co-defendants were earlier jailed for six months and two months respectively.Law Chun-yik, 37, then construction worker of MLife Engineering Limited (MEL), was among six charged by the ICAC for bribery in assisting construction workers to secure employment at the Third Runway Project.In sentencing at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts, Magistrate Mr Peter Yu Chun-cheung said a suspended sentence was imposed on Law having considered his guilty plea and useful assistance rendered to the prosecution, and the fact that he was not the main culprit of the case.Law earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy for agent to accept advantages, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.At the material time, MEL was a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project responsible for recruiting construction workers to conduct various works. Recruitment was conducted mainly through referrals by construction workers. Law and other construction workers, including Lin Weiwu, were led by a site team leader Hui Kwai-tuen to perform carpentry works at the project’s construction site.The court heard that in late 2020 and early 2021, Law introduced three other construction workers to work at the project’s construction site at a daily wage of $1,600. Law told the trio that they were required to pay $200 per working day as a rebate to Hui.Between January and May 2021, the trio had paid illegal rebates totalling $10,200 through Law or directly to Hui as they believed that they would not have been employed by MEL or would be terminated by Hui if they did not pay the rebates.Law earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy for agent to accept advantages and rendered assistance to the prosecution. Co-defendants Hui and Lin subsequently pleaded guilty to their charges and were respectively jailed for six months and two months.The investigation arose from corruption complaints filed with the ICAC. Following enforcement actions taken by the Commission last year, the aforesaid three defendants and three other then site team leaders were charged with a total of 13 counts of bribery in three cases in October 2021.Another then site team leader in another case also received a two months’ jail term after pleading guilty to his charges while his co-accused was offered no evidence against his charge. The remaining then site team leader in a third case will face trial in February for allegedly accepting illegal rebates totalling about $40,000 from four construction workers.The Airport Authority Hong Kong, the relevant main contractor SAPR JV and MEL had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the cases. ICAC enquiries are continuing and further arrests and prosecutions may be made.The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Danny Chan.

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