Recent ICAC Cases

21
Oct 2021
Six charged by ICAC with bribery over Third Runway Project construction jobs

Following 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.

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