Recent ICAC Cases


22
Oct 2021
Property agent charged by ICAC admits accepting $118,000 bribes from subordinateA property agent, charged by the ICAC, today (October 22) admitted at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts that he had accepted bribes totalling $118,000 from a subordinate for assisting the latter in procuring two property transactions which amounted to over $52.3 million.Chung Ka-keung, 54, senior sales manager of Midland Realty (Commercial) Limited (Midland Realty), pleaded guilty to two counts of agent accepting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO). The prosecution offered no evidence to another similar charge against him.Deputy Magistrate Mr Wong Tsz-ho adjourned the case to November 19 this year for sentence, pending a background report. Chung was granted cash bail. He was also ordered by the deputy magistrate to pay $118,000, which was equivalent to the bribes involved, as a restitution to Midland Realty.The court heard that at the material time, Chung headed a branch of Midland Realty in Tsim Sha Tsui. His subordinates included a senior account manager, Ken Koo Chun-fai.For each property transaction procured by a property agent, Midland Realty generally would charge both the vendor and the purchaser one per cent of the transaction price as agency commission, and the amount would be taken into account in calculating the monthly sales commissions of the property agent. As the head of a branch, Chung would also earn an overriding commission for property transactions procured by his subordinates.The court heard that in December 2016, Chung instructed his subordinates to source commercial properties for a client of himself.In late February 2017, upon the recommendation of Chung and Koo, the client purchased two commercial properties in Shau Kei Wan at respectively $25 million and over $27.3 million, totalling over $52.3 million.Midland Realty subsequently paid sales commissions totalling over $280,000 and overriding commissions totalling about $150,000 respectively to Koo and Chung in connection with the two property transactions.Upon Chung’s request, Koo eventually agreed to pay Chung half of his own sales commissions arising from the two transactions, after deducting 17.5 per cent of the amount for tax, as a reward for Chung’s assistance in procuring those transactions.ICAC enquires revealed that Chung eventually accepted two bribes totalling $118,000 from Koo.Koo, 48, who was charged by the ICAC in a separate case, pleaded guilty in May this year to three counts of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the POBO. He was granted bail until December 21 this year for sentence.Midland Realty had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the aforesaid two cases.The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Derek Cheung.
21
Oct 2021
Six charged by ICAC with bribery over Third Runway Project construction jobsFollowing enforcement actions taken by the ICAC earlier this year against illicit activities of soliciting and accepting illegal rebates from construction workers, the Commission today (October 21) charged six then employees of a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project of the Hong Kong International Airport (Third Runway Project) with soliciting and accepting illegal rebates totalling about $70,000 from 11 others for securing their employment with the sub-contractor.The investigation arose from corruption complaints filed with the ICAC. After seeking legal advice from the Department of Justice, four site team leaders and two construction workers who assisted them to accept illegal rebates from others were charged in three cases at this stage.The defendants are Tang Amanjo Ho-yin, 42; He Chungui, 37; Ngan Lun-fung, 52; and Hui Kwai-tuen, 38; all site team leaders of MLife Engineering Limited (MEL); and Law Chun-yik, 37; and Lin Weiwu, 51, both construction workers of MEL. They were all released on ICAC bail, pending their court appearance in the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts next Monday (October 25) for plea.They face a total of 13 charges – two of agent soliciting an advantage and four of agent accepting an advantage, all contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO); and seven of conspiracy for agent to accept advantages, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the POBO 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. Tang, He, Ngan and Hui were site team leaders who led construction workers, including Law and Lin, to perform carpentry works at the project’s construction site.In the first case which took place between July 2020 and January 2021, Tang faces four charges. It is alleged that Tang had respectively conspired together with two construction workers in his team for Tang to accept illegal rebates totalling about $38,000 from the duo. Tang had also allegedly accepted illegal rebates totalling $1,400 from another two construction workers in his team.In the second case, He and Ngan face three charges which took place between October 2020 and March 2021. The duo had allegedly conspired together with a construction worker in their team for He to accept an illegal rebate of $2,000 from the construction worker. It is also alleged that He solicited $100 per working day and $1,000 per month from another construction worker in his team.The third case took place between January and May 2021. Hui, Law and Lin face a total of six charges. Hui had allegedly accepted illegal rebates totalling about $10,000 from a construction worker in his team. It is also alleged that Hui, and Law or Lin, respectively conspired together with another four construction workers in his team for Hui to accept illegal rebates totalling over $17,000 from the four construction workers.The charges allege that the defendants in the three cases had, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, solicited and accepted the above illegal rebates totalling about $70,000 from 11 construction workers as an inducement to or reward for assisting those construction workers to secure and to continue their employment with MEL.The Airport Authority Hong Kong, the relevant main contractor SAPR JV and MEL have rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the cases.The ICAC reminds construction workers that should they be asked to pay illegal rebates, they should report to the Commission immediately. The Commission will continue to closely monitor the situation in the industry and take appropriate enforcement actions.The Commission has stepped up its efforts in promoting the “Don’t bribe for Jobs” message to frontline construction workers under the Ethics Promotion Programme for the Construction Industry and urges them not to tolerate corruption. These include the production of publicity materials and training video for deployment by industry organisations and construction companies. The ICAC has also incorporated related messages in corruption prevention talks attended by construction practitioners. Further information is available online (https://hkbedc.icac.hk/en/sector_industry/construction/28) and could also be obtained through ICAC Regional Offices.On the prevention front, the ICAC has advised and assisted the relevant government departments and public bodies to put in place measures to curb malpractices in the construction industry. The measures include clear policy prohibiting solicitation of referral fees from workers, transparency in workers’ employment or payment terms with written employment contracts, using job-matching platforms such as the Construction Industry Council (CIC)’s “easyJob” for recruiting workers or finding jobs, etc.The ICAC has also provided advice on recruitment of workers to individual companies upon request and worked closely with the CIC to raise the anti-corruption capability and awareness of practitioners in the private arm of the industry. The ICAC will continue to take appropriate measures to assist the industry to tackle the malpractice.
21
Oct 2021
Woman charged by ICAC admits bribing recruitment officer for security guard jobA woman, charged by the ICAC, today (October 21) admitted at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts that she had offered bribes totalling $5,000 to a recruitment officer of a property developer for assisting her in securing a security guard job.Ke Meijing, 51, pleaded guilty to two counts of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.Magistrate Daniel Tang Siu-hung adjourned the case to November 12 for sentence, pending probation and community service order reports of the defendant and granted her cash bail.The court heard that in mid-February 2021, Swire Properties Limited (Swire Properties) conducted a recruitment exercise for the post of security guard. The defendant applied for the post and attended an online interviewOn March 2, 2021, the defendant was informed by a recruitment officer of the company who assessed her performance that her application was unsuccessful. The defendant then requested via mobile phone messages the recruitment officer to assist her in the next recruitment exercise.On the following day, the defendant told the recruitment officer over the phone that she would give her some home-made buns. In the same afternoon, the defendant left a bag of buns at the reception of the recruitment officer’s office and sent a mobile phone message to the recruitment officer asking her not to pass the buns to others. The recruitment officer reported the matter to her supervisor, who subsequently arranged to dispose of the bag of buns.In a series of mobile phone messages sent to the recruitment officer on March 4, 2021, the defendant said she had given $2,000 as “tea money” to the recruitment officer on the preceding day and would further offer $3,000 if she could complete the probation after being recruited.The recruitment officer immediately reported the matter to her supervisor but the bag of buns and the $2,000 could not be recovered.The court heard that the defendant had placed a “laisee” of $2,000 in the bag of buns delivered to the office of the recruitment officer and sent the aforesaid mobile phone messages to the recruitment officer afterwards.Swire Properties has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Brian Tse.
20
Oct 2021
Ex-manager of aircraft maintenance company charged by ICAC jailed for $1.5m order fraudA former manager of an aircraft maintenance company, charged by the ICAC, was today (October 20) sentenced to 27 months’ imprisonment at the District Court after being convicted of fraud over purchase orders for toolings which contained unnecessary technical drawings worth about $1.5 million.Wu Kwok-man, 65, former production engineering manager of Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO), was today found guilty of two counts of fraud, contrary to Section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance.In sentencing, Judge Stanley Chan Kwong-chi reprimanded the defendant for breaching the trust placed on him and abusing his power and position in HAECO. The defendant had also wasted the manpower and resources of the company, causing a loss to his former employer.The case arose from a corruption complaint. Subsequent ICAC enquiries revealed the above offences.The court heard at the material time, HAECO provided aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services to its clients. As the head of the component repair team of HAECO, the defendant was responsible for developing, manufacturing and purchasing toolings used in its aircraft maintenance and repair services. Contractors supplying toolings to HAECO were required to manufacture the toolings and provide the relevant technical drawings.Between February 2015 and October 2016, the defendant had caused HAECO to place 69 purchase orders worth totalling about $2.5 million with two contractors for manufacturing 185 toolings and the supply of the relevant technical drawings.HAECO received all the toolings but the two contractors could only provide some of the technical drawings. However, the technical drawings of all 185 toolings were subsequently found in HAECO’s internal system.ICAC enquiries revealed that the defendant had concealed from HAECO that he had instructed his subordinate engineers to design and prepare those technical drawings. The technical drawings submitted by one of the contractors were copied from technical drawings in HAECO’s system provided by the defendant.HAECO purchased the toolings with the two contractors at prices which included the supply of technical drawings which were not required in the first place. The prices involved amounted to about $1.5 million.HAECO did not allow the defendant to instruct its engineers to prepare technical drawings for contractors and to supply contractors with the technical drawings which belonged to HAECO. Had HAECO known that the company was in possession of the technical drawings concerned, it would not have placed the orders with the two contractors or settled the relevant payments with them.HAECO reported the matter to the ICAC after it was revealed, and rendered full assistance to the Commission during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by prosecuting counsel Lisa Remedios, assisted by ICAC officers Frankie Chow and Francis Tsang.
19
Oct 2021
Plumbing subcontractors charged by ICAC with $1m wage fraudThe ICAC yesterday (October 18) charged two third-tier subcontractors of the construction projects of the Hong Kong Children’s Hospital and a private residential estate in Ma On Shan with defrauding two second-tier subcontractors of wage payments totalling about $1 million by overstating daily wages of eight plumbers.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 charging the two third-tier plumbing subcontractors.Sze Kin-chung, 48, and Chu Cheuk-wah, 58, jointly face two counts of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law. Sze alone further faces six counts of fraud, contrary to Section 16A of the Theft Ordinance. The offences took place between November 2016 and September 2018.The defendants were released on ICAC bail, pending their court appearance in the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (October 20) for the case to be transferred to the District Court for plea.At the material time, Kin Win Engineering Limited (Kin Win) and Onplus Plumbing Engineering Limited (Onplus) took part in two construction projects respectively involving the Hong Kong Children’s Hospital and a private residential estate in Ma On Shan as second-tier subcontractors. Operators of the two second-tier subcontractors subcontracted the plumbing work of the two projects to Sze and Chu.According to the subcontracting agreements, Sze and Chu were required to supply plumbers to Kin Win and Onplus for the two projects and report the exact daily wages of the plumbers for wage calculation.One of the charges alleges that Sze and Chu conspired together to defraud Kin Win and Onplus that a plumber had requested a daily wage of $1,500, thereby inducing Kin Win and Onplus to calculate and release wages to the plumber based on the requested daily wage.Another charge alleges that the two defendants conspired together to defraud Kin Win that another plumber had requested a daily wage of $1,150 by similar fraudulent means.Two other charges allege that Sze falsely represented to Kin Win and Onplus that another two plumbers had each requested a daily wage of $1,500 and with intent to defraud, induced Kin Win and Onplus to calculate and release wages to the two plumbers based on the requested daily wages which resulted in the benefit to Sze or in prejudice to Kin Win and Onplus.The four remaining charges allege that Sze falsely represented to Kin Win that another four plumbers had requested a daily wage of $1,400 and $1,500 respectively by similar fraudulent means.ICAC enquiries revealed that the actual daily wages requested by the eight plumbers in fact ranged from $750 to $1,100 but they were overstated by Sze and Chu to Kin Win and Onplus to a range from $1,150 to $1,500. The total wages were overstated by about $1 million.The Hospital Authority, Kin Win and Onplus have rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

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