Recent ICAC Cases


31
May 2023
Property agent charged by ICAC jailed for bribing supervisor over property transactionsA property agent, charged by the ICAC, was today (May 31) sentenced to 70 days’ imprisonment at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts for offering bribes totalling over $37,000 to his supervisor for naming him as a negotiator in two property transactions.Lau Tsz-yeung, 31, former senior account manager of Centaline Property Agency Limited (Centaline Property), earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to offer an advantage to an agent, contrary to section 9(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.In sentencing, Magistrate Mr Jeffrey Sze Cho-yiu remarked that the nature of the offences warranted an immediate custodial sentence. He took a starting point of four months’ imprisonment, and reduced the jail term of the defendant to 70 days having considered various mitigating factors.The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was a senior account manager of Centaline Property posted to a branch in Tuen Mun. According to Centaline Property’s policy, the defendant and the manager of the branch would respectively receive a sales commission and an overriding commission for a property transaction procured by the defendant.Centaline Property prohibited branch managers from soliciting or accepting any advantages from their subordinates for arranging them to handle or assist in handling property transactions procured by branch managers.In January and May 2018, two clients of Centaline Property purchased two private residential properties in Tuen Mun. Although the above branch manager procured the two property transactions, he proposed to name the defendant as the negotiator in those transactions.Afterwards Centaline Property paid sales commissions totalling over $91,000 to the defendant for the two property transactions. Upon the request of the branch manager, the defendant paid two bribes totalling over $37,000 to the branch manager for naming him as the negotiator in the two property transactions.The case arose from a corruption complaint. Centaline Property had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Steven Liu, assisted by ICAC officer Simon Ip.
31
May 2023
Secondary school teacher charged by ICAC admits concealing conflict of interest in workshopA secondary school teacher, charged by the ICAC, today (May 31) admitted at the Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Courts that he had deceived the school into engaging a service provider to host a workshop for students by concealing that he was the major shareholder of it.Lau Tat-li, 32, former teacher of ELCHK Lutheran Academy (Lutheran Academy), admits one count of fraud, contrary to Section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance.Deputy Magistrate Mr Chu Chung-keung adjourned the case to June 21 for sentence, pending the defendant’s community service order report. The defendant was granted bail.The Deputy Magistrate also ordered the defendant to repay $48,000 to Lutheran Academy, being the service fee involved in the case.The court heard that at the material time the defendant was a teacher of design subject of Lutheran Academy, a direct subsidy scheme secondary school. Guidelines of Lutheran Academy provided that staff involved in procurement and supplies duties would declare in writing to the Incorporated Management Committee (IMC) of the school any connection they or their families have with any suppliers or contractors as soon as possible.In April 2021, the defendant was assigned to host a robot workshop during the extra curriculum activities week in June 2021. In mid-May, he informed the school that he wanted to host a “Design – Toys and figures maker workshop” instead. He subsequently submitted the quotations of two service providers to the school and recommended to engage Wonder Hobbys. Limited (Wonder Hobbys) at $50,000 to host the workshop for 25 students as its quotation was $2,000 lower than that of its competitor.The procurement was approved by Lutheran Academy and Wonder Hobbys eventually charged the school $48,000 for hosting the workshop attended by 24 students.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that at the material time, the defendant was a director-cum-shareholder of Wonder Hobbys holding 70 per cent of its shares. But the defendant had never disclosed his interest in Wonder Hobbys to the school. Had Lutheran Academy known the defendant’s interest in Wonder Hobbys, it would not have approved awarding the workshop to Wonder Hobbys.It was also revealed that after Wonder Hobbys received the $48,000 service fee, $30,000 out of it was transferred to the personal account of the defendant.Lutheran Academy had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer William Leung.The ICAC reminds school personnel to avoid conflict of interest situations and to make timely declaration in accordance with the internal guidelines of individual schools as concealing any conflict of interest in relation to one’s official duties to benefit himself or his associates may contravene the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance or other criminal laws. Schools could contact ICAC regional offices for arranging corruption prevention and integrity training for staff and refer to the Best Practice Checklist for Governance and Internal Control in Schools.
30
May 2023
Ex-Third Runway Project construction worker jailed for six months for accepting bribes from fellow workersA former rigger of a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project of the Hong Kong International Airport (Third Runway Project), charged by the ICAC, was today (May 30) sentenced to six months’ imprisonment at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts for accepting bribes from two other riggers for securing and continuing their employment with the sub-contractor.Lu Wuhu, 47, former rigger of MLife Engineering Limited (MEL), was earlier found guilty of three counts of conspiracy for agents to accept an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.In sentencing, Magistrate Mr Jeffrey Sze Cho-yiu said the defendant had breached the trust placed in him by his employer, warranting a deterrent sentence. The Magistrate had earlier ordered the defendants to pay $4,500, being the bribes involved in the case, as restitutions to MEL.The court heard that at the material time, MEL was a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project responsible for recruiting construction workers to conduct various works. Lu was employed as a rigger. Between April and May 2021, Lu accepted bribes totalling $4,500 from two other riggers for assisting them to secure and continue their employment with MEL.An ICAC spokesperson urges construction workers not to tolerate corruption. Should they be asked to offer advantages in exchange for their employment, they should report to the ICAC immediately. Report corruption hotline: 25 266 366.In recent years, the ICAC had taken a series of enforcement actions against corrupt practices of similar nature to this case. A total of 23 former employees of the main contractor and a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project were charged by the ICAC with bribery. Seventeen of them, including Lu, had pleaded guilty or were found guilty after trial, receiving sentences up 10 months in jail. Four others are awaiting plea or trial.The Airport Authority Hong Kong, SAPR JV and MEL have rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by prosecuting counsel Sher Hon-piu, assisted by ICAC officers Kyle Tang and Christine Chiang.
30
May 2023
Duo charged by ICAC with money laundering for allegedly conspiring with dummy insurance agent to handle $960,000 commissionsIn the course of a corruption investigation by the ICAC, it was revealed that two insurance agents allegedly recruited a person to pose as a dummy insurance agent to obtain commissions and bonuses totalling over $960,000 by making false representations that 13 insurance policies were handled by the latter, and collected most of the sum from the dummy insurance agent. The duo were charged with conspiracy to launder crime proceeds yesterday (May 29).Kong Chun-ming, 39, and Yau Lai-in, 38, both insurance agents, jointly face one count of conspiracy to deal with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence, contrary to Section 25(1) of the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.The defendants were released on ICAC bail, pending their appearance in the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (May 31) for plea.At the material time, Kong and Yau were insurance agents for an insurer. In May 2019, the duo arranged a friend of Kong to pose as a dummy insurance agent at Chubb Life Insurance Company Limited (Chubb). Chubb subsequently received 13 insurance policy applications and released commissions and bonuses of over $960,000 to the dummy agent who was named as the handling agent.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that the dummy agent did not handle those insurance policies. Upon the defendants’ request, the dummy agent transferred about $840,000 from the commissions and bonuses to bank accounts held by the defendants and retained over $120,000 as his rewards.It is alleged that between May 2019 and August 2020, Kong and Yau conspired together with the dummy agent and other persons to deal with the aforementioned commissions and bonuses of over $960,000, knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe that it in whole or in part directly or indirectly represented the proceeds of an indictable offence.Au Yeung Yu-huan, 45, the dummy agent concerned, was earlier charged with one count of conspiracy to launder crime proceeds. He pleaded guilty to the charge and his case was adjourned to September 18 for mention.Chubb has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
09
Feb 2023
Security supervisor jailed for soliciting bribes from subordinateA security supervisor, charged by the ICAC, was today (February 7) sentenced to five months’ imprisonment at the Shatin Magistrates’ Courts for soliciting bribes of over $10,000 from a subordinate security guard for assisting the latter to get promoted to assistant security supervisor.Luk Pui-suet, 54, supervisor of Hong Kong Guards Limited (HKGL), was earlier found guilty of two counts of agent soliciting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO).In sentencing, Magistrate Mr Pang Leung-ting reprimanded Luk for showing no remorse. The offences involved were serious in nature since Luk solicited advantages from a subordinate in her capacity as a direct supervisor so as to exert influence over the subordinate’s promotion. The magistrate took a starting point of six months’ imprisonment and reduced Luk’s jail term by one month after taking into account various mitigating factors.The court heard that at the material time, Luk was an assistant supervisor of HKGL posted to Shui Chuen O Estate, a public housing estate in Shatin. She was one of the three assistant supervisors of the estate responsible for assisting to manage about 40 security guards.In November 2020, one of the security guards Tang Kam-ngau asked Luk about his chance of promotion. Tang believed that Luk would succeed the then supervisor after the latter’s retirement in mid-December 2020, leading to an assistant supervisor vacant post.Afterwards, Luk told Tang on two occasions that she would assume the post of supervisor and solicited two bribes, one of $5,000 to $8,000 and another of at least $5,000, from Tang for assisting him to get promoted to assistant supervisor.Tang gave Luk a red packet containing $2,000 cash, but Luk did not accept the red packet as the amount did not meet $5,000.HKGL prohibited its staff members from soliciting and accepting advantages in relation to their official duties. HKGL had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.Tang Kam-ngau, the security guard concerned, was earlier charged by the ICAC with bribery in a separate case. He pleaded guilty to three counts of offering an advantage to an agent and sentencing was adjourned to this Friday (February 10).The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Rosa Lo, assisted by ICAC officer Jeff Ng.

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