Recent ICAC Cases

21
Sep 2022
Buyer of new property charged by ICAC for bribing estate agent over higher cash rebate

A buyer of a new property was charged by the ICAC yesterday (September 20) for allegedly offering a gift to an estate agent in a bid to obtain a higher cash rebate from the estate agency concerned over her purchase of a residential flat at over $6.5 million.

Yu Weilin, 30, clerk, faces one count of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. The defendant was released on ICAC bail, pending her appearance in the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (September 22) for plea.

At the material time, Centaline Property Agency Limited (Centaline Property) was engaged by a developer to promote the sale of Aquila · Square Mile, a residential project in Tai Kok Tsui. Centaline Property would receive from the developer a certain percentage of the transaction price for each successful transaction as agency commission. It would offer part of the agency commission as cash rebate to the property buyer to boost the sale. The amount of the cash rebate would be negotiated between the handling estate agent and property buyer, subject to the approval of Centaline Property.

In early March 2021, the defendant engaged an estate agent of Centaline Property to look for a residential property. Upon the estate agent’s introduction, the defendant intended to buy a flat at the above project at over $6.5 million in late March 2021.

The charge alleges that on March 31, 2021, the defendant, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, offered a gift worth $1,000 to $3,000 to an estate agent of Centaline Property as an inducement to or reward for obtaining a higher cash rebate from Centaline Property in relation to the purchase of the above flat.

ICAC investigation revealed that the estate agent did not accept the gift offered by the defendant.

The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Centaline Property has rendered full assistance to the Commission during its investigation into the case.

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