Recent ICAC Cases


07
Mar 2023
Ex-site team leader charged by ICAC in Third Runway Project workers’ employment bribery case admits wage fraudA former site team leader of a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project of the Hong Kong International Airport (Third Runway Project) today (March 7) admitted at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts that he had deceived the sub-contractor into paying higher daily wages to four summer job seekers by making false representations that they were experienced plumbers. The defendant was among 17 people charged by the ICAC with bribery over workers’ employment arising from the relevant investigation.Lam Huang Chaofan, 53, former plumbing works site team leader of MLife Engineering Limited (MEL), pleaded guilty to one count of fraud, contrary to Section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance. The prosecution offered no evidence to one count of agent soliciting an advantage against him.Magistrate Mr Jeffrey Sze Cho-yiu adjourned the case to March 21 for sentence, pending the defendant’s background report. The defendant was remanded in the custody of the Correctional Services Department.The court heard that MEL was a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project responsible for recruiting construction workers to conduct various works. The defendant was employed by MEL as site team leader of a team of plumbers at the project’s construction site. In August 2021, he referred four people to join MEL as plumbers at a daily wage of $1,200, but MEL subsequently found that they had no plumbing experience.Upon receipt of corruption complaints, the ICAC had taken a series of enforcement actions against illicit acceptance of illegal rebates from construction workers of Third Runway Project since 2021. Enquiries revealed that the four people were summer job seekers who had just completed their secondary school studies. They were told by the defendant that their daily wage was $950, but they subsequently found that the daily wage shown on their contracts was $1,200 and the defendant had asked them to return the daily wage difference.Had MEL known the four people had no plumbing experience, it would not have employed them as plumbers at a daily wage $1,200 and would only employed them as general workers at a daily wage of $950. MEL had paid extra wages totalling $50,000 to the four people because of the defendant’s false representations.The Airport Authority Hong Kong, the relevant main contractor SAPR JV and MEL had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Cody Chung.
01
Mar 2023
Bank customer charged by ICAC with bribery over trust fund redemptionA customer of a bank was charged by the ICAC today (March 1) with offering a bribe of $1,000 to a relationship manager of the bank for assisting him in redeeming his unit trust fund.Chung Sung, 60, faces one count of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to section 9(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. He will be brought to the Fanling Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (March 2) for plea.On January 22, 2021, the defendant visited a branch of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) in Sheung Shui for redeeming his unit trust fund held with the bank. He was received by a relationship manager of the branch.The relationship manager asked the defendant to produce his Hong Kong Identity Card or passport for verification in accordance with the guideline of the bank. But the defendant did not bring along the documents.The defendant allegedly offered $1,000 to the relationship manager for assisting in redeeming the unit trust fund held by him with HSBC.The relationship manager declined the offer and reported the matter to HSBC.HSBC has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
28
Feb 2023
Insurance agent and wife charged by ICAC over $490,0000 commissions fraudIn the course of a corruption investigation by the ICAC, it was revealed that an insurance agent and his wife had allegedly overstated the wife’s monthly income to deceive the insurer that the husband was working for into underwriting a policy for her and releasing commissions and a performance allowance totalling about $490,000 to the husband. The married couple was charged by the ICAC with fraud today (February 28).Yau Siu-kei, 37, insurance agent of China Taiping Life Insurance (HK) Company Limited (CTLI); and his wife Chow Ka-ying, 37, shop supervisor of a skincare product retailer, jointly face one count of fraud, contrary to section 16A of the Theft Ordinance. They were released on ICAC bail, pending their appearance in the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday (March 2) for plea.At the material time, Yau was an insurance agent of CTLI. He would receive commissions when an insurance product was sold. He would also receive different kinds of performance allowances, subject to his performance.In February 2019, Yau submitted to CTLI an application form for taking out an insurance policy. Yau and Chow were respectively named as the handling agent and applicant of the application.It is alleged that between mid-February 2019 and mid-March 2021, Yau and Chow had falsely represented to CTLI that Chow was a sales manager of a skincare product retailer earning a monthly income of $100,000, and with intent to defraud, induced CTLI to underwrite an insurance policy.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that Chow was a shop supervisor of a skincare product retailer earning not more than $47,000. Had CTLI known that the application form contained false information, it would not have underwritten Chow’s insurance policy and released commissions and a performance allowance totalling about $490,000 to Yau.CTLI has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
27
Feb 2023
Ex-clerk of stationery company charged by ICAC with $7.2m fraud using false quotationsA former clerk of a stationery company was charged by the ICAC last Friday (February 24) for allegedly deceiving the company into purchasing raw materials at $7.2 million from a supplier by using false quotations to falsely represent that the supplier’s quotations were the lowest. The offence was revealed in the course of a corruption investigation by the Commission.Au Yeung Yin-tung, 39, former shipping clerk of Creative Wealth International Limited (Creative Wealth), faces one count of fraud, contrary to Section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance.The defendant was released on ICAC bail and would appear in the Shatin Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (February 28) for mention, pending prosecution’s application for transferring the case to the District Court.At the material time, the defendant was a shipping clerk of Creative Wealth, which was a stationery manufacturer. She was assigned to procure raw materials, including plastics pellets, for a factory of Creative Wealth. For each purchase, the defendant was required to obtain quotations from various suppliers and recommend which supplier to be selected.It is alleged that between December 2015 and May 2018, the defendant falsely represented that the prices of plastic pellets offered by Golden Dragon Consultants Limited (Golden Dragon) were the lowest, and with intent to defraud, induced Creative Wealth to purchase plastic pellets from Golden Dragon. Upon her recommendation, Creative Wealth had placed a total of 34 purchase orders with Golden Dragon for plastics pellets at around $7.2 million.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that some suppliers had never provided any quotation to the defendant. She allegedly purchased the plastic pellets concerned from other suppliers at lower prices, inflated the prices by $1.7 million in total and sold them to Creative Wealth through Golden Dragon, which was owned by the defendant’s husband. Part of the payments were transferred from the bank account of Golden Dragon to the defendant’s bank accounts.Creative Wealth has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
23
Feb 2023
Ex-manager of beverage company charged by ICAC for allegedly concealing conflict of interest in advertisements worth $1.9mA former marketing manager of a beverage company was charged by the ICAC yesterday (February 22) for allegedly deceiving the company into awarding various outdoor advertisement purchase orders worth totalling about $1.9 million to a vendor by concealing that the latter was controlled by him. The former manager and a subordinate also allegedly used a number of false quotations and outdoor advertisement inspection reports to mislead the company.Chan Wing-fung, 38, former manager of marketing department of Vitasoy International Holdings Limited (Vitasoy), faces one count of fraud, contrary to section 16A of the Theft Ordinance.Chan and Keung Tze-ping, 47, former outdoor visibility officer of marketing department of Vitasoy, jointly face two counts of conspiracy for agents to use documents with intent to deceive his principal, contrary to section 9(3) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.The duo were released on ICAC bail, pending their appearance in the Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (February 24) for mention, pending the prosecution’s application for transferring the case to the District Court.At the material time, Chan was the manager of the merchandising team and outdoor advertising team of Vitasoy’s marketing department. Among other duties, Chan was responsible for approving the engagement of vendors. Keung was an outdoor visibility officer working in the outdoor advertising team. She was responsible for assisting Chan to obtain quotations from vendors. The duo were required to obtain at least two or three quotations, subject to the amount of a procurement exercise involved.Staff handbook of Vitasoy stipulates that all staff members are required to disclose any possible conflict of interest to Vitasoy and seek permission in writing prior to participating in any business which would possibly cause a conflict of interest.It is alleged that between January 2016 and early October 2019, Chan concealed from Vitasoy his interest in Why Creative Graphic Design House (Why Creative), and with intent to defraud, induced Vitasoy to award 39 outdoor advertisement purchase orders to Why Creative.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that Why Creative was in fact controlled by Chan. The 39 outdoor advertisement purchase orders concerned worth totalling about $1.9 million.In an internal audit conducted by Vitasoy, it was revealed that a majority of the purchase orders issued by the outdoor advertising team during July 2017 and April 2019, totalling around $6.3 million, were awarded to three vendors, including Why Creative. Chan had further approved to pay a monthly fee of $36,000 to one of the vendors for conducting inspections on all outdoor advertisements of Vitasoy to make sure that they were in good condition and were updated. Hence, Vitasoy requested the outdoor advertising team to provide the relevant quotations and inspection reports for examination.Between early May and June 2019, Chan and Keung allegedly conspired together with a subordinate in the outdoor advertisement team to use 31 sets of quotation documents purportedly issued by four outdoor advertising vendors to mislead Vitasoy.It is also alleged that the trio had used 37 sets of outdoor advertisement inspection reports purportedly prepared by one of the above vendors to mislead Vitasoy that it had conducted the relevant inspections and prepared and submitted the reports concerned.ICAC investigation revealed that the four vendors had never issued the quotations concerned, and had never been engaged to conduct the relevant inspection.Vitasoy has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The ICAC reminds staff of business organisations to avoid conflict of interest situations and to make timely declarations to their employers. Concealing any conflict of interest in relation to one’s official duties to benefit himself or his associates may contravene the criminal law. It may constitute a breach of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance if offering繁 and accepting of bribes are involved.The ICAC recommends business organisations to establish clear guidelines and systems of declaration on conflict of interest with which employees should strictly comply. “How to handle conflict of interest”

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