Recent ICAC Cases

16
Jun 2022
Ex-site team leader charged by ICAC with soliciting and accepting bribes from public hospital expansion project workers

A former site team leader of a subcontractor of an expansion project of United Christian Hospital was charged by the ICAC yesterday (June 15) with soliciting and accepting illegal rebates totalling over $25,000 from four carpenters and bar benders for securing their employment with the subcontractor and favourably disposed to them at work.

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.

Tsoi Wai-tung, 44, former site team leader of Star Power Engineering Limited (Star Power), faces three counts of conspiracy for an agent to accept advantages and one count of agent soliciting an advantage, contrary to Sections 9(1)(a) and 9(1)(b) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.

The defendant was released on ICAC bail, pending his appearance in the Kwun Tong Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (June 17) for plea.

The alleged offences took place between December 2020 and May 2021. At the material time, Star Power was a subcontractor for carpentry and bar bending works of the above expansion project. The defendant, a site team leader of Star Power, had referred a number of workers to work at the construction site under his supervision at a daily wage ranging from about $1,300 to $1,400.

Three of the charges allege that the defendant separately conspired with three workers for the defendant, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, to accept illegal rebates totalling about $25,000 from the trio, as an inducement to or reward for assisting them to secure and continue their employment with Star Power.

The remaining charge alleges that the defendant, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, solicited an illegal rebate of $100 per working day from another worker as an inducement to or reward for being or remaining favourably disposed towards the latter at work. ICAC investigation revealed that the worker rejected the defendant’s solicitation.

The ICAC calls on the construction industry to adhere to integrity and further reminds construction workers that if they are asked to pay illegal rebates or “referral fees”, they should refuse immediately and report to the ICAC. The Commission will continue to collaborate with the Government, public bodies and the Construction Industry Council to provide corruption prevention services to the industry, and step up its efforts in promoting the “Don’t bribe for Jobs” message to frontline construction workers.

In order to assist public bodies and construction companies in strengthening their corruption prevention capabilities to tackle possible illegal conducts in recruitment, the Corruption Prevention Department has produced the Corruption Prevention Checklist on Recruitment of Construction Workers. The construction industry and its frontline workers could also refer to the dedicated webpage tailor-made for the industry.

Star Power has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

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