Recent ICAC Cases


27
Oct 2021
ICAC charges property agent with $4.9m mortgage loan fraudThe ICAC yesterday (October 26) charged a property agent with defrauding a bank, the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited (HKMC) and the HKMC Insurance Limited (HKMCI) of a mortgage loan of about $4.9 million by making false representations that a residential property was for self-use.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Upon completion of the investigation, the ICAC sought legal advice from the Department of Justice, which advised charging the property agent, Chiu Ka-wai, 37, with three counts of fraud, contrary to Section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance.The defendant was released on ICAC bail, pending his appearance in the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (October 28) for the case to be transferred to the District Court for plea.Banks in Hong Kong are required to comply with the guideline of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on loan-to-value ratio requirement when granting a property mortgage loan.Under the Mortgage Insurance Programme (MIP) launched by the HKMC in 1999, participating banks can provide a maximum 80 per cent loan-to-value ratio to a self-occupancy residential property valued at $6 million and below. Since May 2018, the MIP has been carried out by HKMCI, a subsidiary of HKMC. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) is a participating bank of the programme.On January 3, 2016, the defendant signed a provisional agreement for purchasing a residential property at $6 million and applied for a mortgage loan under the MIP with HSBC on the January 7, 2016.One of the charges alleges that between January 7 and April 20, 2016, the defendant falsely represented to HSBC and the HKMC that the aforesaid property was for self-occupancy, and with intent to defraud, induced HSBC and the HKMC to grant a mortgage loan of about $4.9 million in relation to the property to him, which resulted in benefit to him or in prejudice to HSBC and the HKMC.The two remaining charges allege that on June 13, 2017 and February 7, 2020, the defendant falsely represented to HSBC, the HKMC and the HKMCI that the property was for self-occupancy, and with intent to defraud, induced HSBC, the HKMC and the HKMCI to maintain the mortgage loan granted to him, which resulted in benefit to him or in prejudice to HSBC, the HKMC and the HKMCI.HSBC, the HKMC and the HKMCI have rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
25
Oct 2021
Ex-worker charged by ICAC admits assisting team leader to accept bribes over Third Runway Project construction jobsA former construction worker of a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project of the Hong Kong International Airport (Third Runway Project), charged by the ICAC, today (October 25) admitted at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts that he had assisted a site team leader to accept illegal rebates totalling $10,200 from three other construction workers for securing their employment with the sub-contractor.Law Chun-yik, 37; former construction worker of MLife Engineering Limited (MEL), pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy for agent to accept advantages, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.Magistrate Mr Peter Yu Chun-cheung remanded Law in the custody of the Correctional Services Department until November 8 this year for sentence, pending his background report.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. Recruitment was conducted mainly through referrals by construction workers. Law and other construction workers, led by a site team leader, perform carpentry works at the project’s construction site.In late 2020 and early 2021, Law introduced three other construction workers to work at the project’s construction site at a daily wage of $1,600. Law told the trio that they were required to pay $200 per working day as rebate to the aforesaid site team leader.Between January and May 2021, the trio had paid illegal rebates totalling $10,200 through Law or directly to the site team leader as they believed they would not have been employed by MEL or would be terminated by the site team leader if they had not given the rebates.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 prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Danny Chan.
22
Oct 2021
Property agent charged by ICAC admits accepting $118,000 bribes from subordinateA property agent, charged by the ICAC, today (October 22) admitted at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts that he had accepted bribes totalling $118,000 from a subordinate for assisting the latter in procuring two property transactions which amounted to over $52.3 million.Chung Ka-keung, 54, senior sales manager of Midland Realty (Commercial) Limited (Midland Realty), pleaded guilty to two counts of agent accepting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO). The prosecution offered no evidence to another similar charge against him.Deputy Magistrate Mr Wong Tsz-ho adjourned the case to November 19 this year for sentence, pending a background report. Chung was granted cash bail. He was also ordered by the deputy magistrate to pay $118,000, which was equivalent to the bribes involved, as a restitution to Midland Realty.The court heard that at the material time, Chung headed a branch of Midland Realty in Tsim Sha Tsui. His subordinates included a senior account manager, Ken Koo Chun-fai.For each property transaction procured by a property agent, Midland Realty generally would charge both the vendor and the purchaser one per cent of the transaction price as agency commission, and the amount would be taken into account in calculating the monthly sales commissions of the property agent. As the head of a branch, Chung would also earn an overriding commission for property transactions procured by his subordinates.The court heard that in December 2016, Chung instructed his subordinates to source commercial properties for a client of himself.In late February 2017, upon the recommendation of Chung and Koo, the client purchased two commercial properties in Shau Kei Wan at respectively $25 million and over $27.3 million, totalling over $52.3 million.Midland Realty subsequently paid sales commissions totalling over $280,000 and overriding commissions totalling about $150,000 respectively to Koo and Chung in connection with the two property transactions.Upon Chung’s request, Koo eventually agreed to pay Chung half of his own sales commissions arising from the two transactions, after deducting 17.5 per cent of the amount for tax, as a reward for Chung’s assistance in procuring those transactions.ICAC enquires revealed that Chung eventually accepted two bribes totalling $118,000 from Koo.Koo, 48, who was charged by the ICAC in a separate case, pleaded guilty in May this year to three counts of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the POBO. He was granted bail until December 21 this year for sentence.Midland Realty had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the aforesaid two cases.The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Derek Cheung.
21
Oct 2021
Six charged by ICAC with bribery over Third Runway Project construction jobsFollowing 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.
21
Oct 2021
Woman charged by ICAC admits bribing recruitment officer for security guard jobA woman, charged by the ICAC, today (October 21) admitted at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts that she had offered bribes totalling $5,000 to a recruitment officer of a property developer for assisting her in securing a security guard job.Ke Meijing, 51, pleaded guilty to two counts of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.Magistrate Daniel Tang Siu-hung adjourned the case to November 12 for sentence, pending probation and community service order reports of the defendant and granted her cash bail.The court heard that in mid-February 2021, Swire Properties Limited (Swire Properties) conducted a recruitment exercise for the post of security guard. The defendant applied for the post and attended an online interviewOn March 2, 2021, the defendant was informed by a recruitment officer of the company who assessed her performance that her application was unsuccessful. The defendant then requested via mobile phone messages the recruitment officer to assist her in the next recruitment exercise.On the following day, the defendant told the recruitment officer over the phone that she would give her some home-made buns. In the same afternoon, the defendant left a bag of buns at the reception of the recruitment officer’s office and sent a mobile phone message to the recruitment officer asking her not to pass the buns to others. The recruitment officer reported the matter to her supervisor, who subsequently arranged to dispose of the bag of buns.In a series of mobile phone messages sent to the recruitment officer on March 4, 2021, the defendant said she had given $2,000 as “tea money” to the recruitment officer on the preceding day and would further offer $3,000 if she could complete the probation after being recruited.The recruitment officer immediately reported the matter to her supervisor but the bag of buns and the $2,000 could not be recovered.The court heard that the defendant had placed a “laisee” of $2,000 in the bag of buns delivered to the office of the recruitment officer and sent the aforesaid mobile phone messages to the recruitment officer afterwards.Swire Properties has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Brian Tse.

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