Recent ICAC Cases

15
Jan 2021
Works contractor admits bribery over $1.3m air-conditioning works of hotel

The proprietor of a works contractor, charged by the ICAC, admitted at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts today (January 15) bribery charges involving illegal rebates totalling about $135,000 in relation to air-conditioning works and a maintenance term contract of the hotel worth totalling over $1.3 million.

Wong Man-kin, 47, sole proprietor of SY Engineering And Repair Limited (SY Engineering), pleaded guilty to three charges – two of conspiracy for an agent to accept an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(b) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO) and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance; and one of offering advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(b) of POBO.

Magistrate Ms Winnie Lau Yee-wan adjourned the case to January 29 for mitigation and sentence, pending a background report. The defendant was remanded in the custody of the Correctional Services Department.

The court heard that at the material time, Wong was the sole proprietor of SY Engineering. Upon the introduction by the director of engineering of Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Causeway Bay (Crowne Plaza), Fan Kar-chi, SY Engineering became an air-conditioning system maintenance contractor of the hotel.

After the primary air units (PAUs) and air handling units (AHUs) in Crowne Plaza gradually broke down in 2018, Fan was requested to arrange for urgent repair works. Seven PAUs/AHUs repair and replacement work orders totalling $473,500 were subsequently awarded to SY Engineering between June 2018 and January 2019.

In addition, an air-conditioning maintenance term contract of Crowne Plaza was due for renewal in September 2018. SY Engineering offered the lowest bid in the subsequent tendering exercise, and was awarded the term contract at $843,000 upon Fan’s recommendation.

The court heard that SY Engineering was required to submit invoices, together with service reports, endorsed by Fan to Crowne Plaza for payments.

Unbeknown to Crowne Plaza, Fan and Wong had an agreement to equally share SY Engineering’s profits in the aforesaid seven PAUs/AHUs repair and replacement work orders. The duo also agreed that Fan would accept $10,000 to $15,000 per month in relation to the air-conditioning maintenance term contract.

As a result, Fan accepted a total of over $80,000 offered by Wong in relation to five of the abovementioned PAUs/AHUs repair and replacement work orders. Monthly payments amounting to $55,000 were also paid to Fan in relation to the air-conditioning maintenance term contract.

Fan, 43, former director of engineering of Crowne Plaza, was also charged for his role in the scam. He earlier pleaded guilty to three charges – the two aforementioned counts of conspiracy for an agent to accept an advantage, and one of agent soliciting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(b) of the POBO. His sentence was also adjourned to January 29.

Crowne Plaza 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 Aggie Lo.

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