Recent ICAC Cases

26
Feb 2021
Ten charged with bribery and stealing $270,000 from ramen shops

The ICAC today (February 26) charged 10 former employees of two ramen shops, including managers, chefs and waitresses, with conspiring to steal cash proceeds totalling up to about $270,000 from cash tills, and bribery for conniving the misappropriation.

The defendants, all formerly employed by Bright Mark Restaurant Limited (Bright Mark), are Chan Ka-tai, 41, former assistant operations manager; Ng Wai-to, 27, former shop manager; Lam Ting-fung, 27, and Lam Wing-sze, 25, both former captains; Yu Hoi-lun, 24, and Yu Sai-ming, 24, both former senior chefs; Lui Kin-shing, 21, and Man Ka-sing, 23, both former chefs; Lau Sui-lin, 29, and Ma Kwan-tung, 22, respectively former waitress and former part-time waitress.

They face a total of 12 charges – three of conspiracy to steal, contrary to Section 9 of the Theft Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance; seven of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO); and two of agent accepting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the POBO.

The defendants will appear at the Kwun Tong Magistrates’ Courts next Tuesday (March 2) for the case to be transferred to the District Court for plea.

At the material time, all defendants were employed by Bright Mark, which operated a number of ramen shops in Hong Kong under two brand names—Bari-Uma Ramen and Fu-Unmaru.

Chan was an assistant operations manager of Bright Mark, who was responsible for inspecting the overall operations of the Tseung Kwan O branch of Bari-Uma Ramen and the Tsim Sha Tsui branch of Fu-Unmaru.

According to Bright Mark’s policy, food orders made by customers must be input into a computer system. Staff members are not allowed to place verbal food orders with kitchen staff.

Nine of the 12 charges are related to the alleged misappropriation of cash proceeds up to over $220,000 and corrupt connivance of such stealing which took place at the Tseung Kwan O branch of Bari-Uma Ramen between August 2017 and November 2018.

One of the charges alleges that shop manager Ng, captain Lam Ting-fung, senior chefs Yu Hoi-lun and Yu Sai-ming, chefs Lui and Man, waitress Lau and part-time waitress Ma conspired together and with a then head chef of Bright Mark to steal cash from the cash till.

Another charge alleges that captain Lam Ting-fung, chefs Lui and Man, and waitress Lau conspired together and with the aforesaid head chef to steal cash from the cash till.

Three other charges allege that captain Lam Ting-fung, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, offered bribes totalling $6,000 to the aforesaid head chef as an inducement to or reward for conniving Lam Ting-fung’s stealing of cash from the cash till.

Four other charges allege that captain Lam Ting-fung, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, offered bribes totalling $9,000 to chef Lui as an inducement to or reward for complying with verbal food orders made to kitchen staff of the branch.

The remaining three charges concerned the alleged misappropriation of cash proceeds up to $45,000 and corrupt connivance of such stealing which took place at the Tsim Sha Tsui branch of Fu-Unmaru between August and November 2018.

One of the charges alleges that shop manager Ng, captain Lam Wing-sze and part-time waitress Ma conspired together and with the aforesaid head chef to steal cash from the cash till.

Two other charges allege that assistant operations manager Chan, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, accepted bribes totalling $4,000 from shop manager Ng as an inducement to or reward for conniving Ng’s stealing of cash from the cash till.

Bright Mark has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

The defendants have been released on ICAC bail, pending their court appearance next Tuesday.

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