Recent ICAC Cases


07
Feb 2024
Ex-assistant general manager of newspaper company’s advertising department faces five additional bribery chargesA former assistant general manager of the advertising department of a newspaper company, earlier charged by the ICAC for soliciting bribes from subordinates, was yesterday (February 6) charged with five additional counts of bribery charges for accepting bribes of about $88,000 from two subordinates upon their receipt of commissions from the company for securing event sponsorships.Daniel Wu Hang-chi, also known as Wu Che-hang, 43, former assistant general manager of the advertising department of Hong Kong Commercial Daily (HKCD), was charged in March last year with three counts of conspiracy for an agent to solicit an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO) and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.Upon receipt of further legal advice from the Department of Justice, the defendant was yesterday charged with five counts of agent accepting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the POBO. He was released on bail, pending his appearance at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (February 8) for mention, when the case will be transferred to the District Court.At that time, Wu was the assistant general manager of the advertising department of HKCD. He was responsible for overseeing the operations of the department, supervising sales representatives, and assisting sales representatives to secure event sponsorships. Sales representatives were entitled to 10 per cent of the sponsorships they secured as commission. Wu would receive bonuses after each event or at the end of the year, subject to the profits made, but he was not entitled to share the commissions of the sales representatives. Meanwhile, HKCD did not allow its staff to solicit or accept any advantage in relation to its business.The five additional charges alleged that between January 2020 and January 2022, Wu accepted five bribes totalling about $88,000 from two sales representatives for assisting them to obtain sponsorships for the events.The three charges earlier laid against Wu alleged that he conspired together with one of the sales representatives to solicit three bribes totalling about $35,000 from two other sales representatives for assisting the latter to obtain event sponsorships. The requests were eventually turned down.At the material time, the four sales representatives secured various sponsorships totalling over $3.5 million for four events.Co-defendants Lee Kwok-wai and Ngo Kam-fai, both former sales representatives of HKCD, earlier pleaded guilty to a total of six charges – five of offering an advantage to an agent and one of conspiracy for an agent to solicit an advantage. Their case was adjourned to March 6 for mention.HKCD has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
06
Feb 2024
Director of furniture company charged by ICAC for bribing bank employee for maintaining accountA director of a furniture company was charged by the ICAC yesterday (February 5) for allegedly offering a bribe of RMB5,000 to an employee of a bank for not terminating the corporate accounts of the company.Fu Jianguo, 41, sole director-cum-shareholder of Haofeng Furniture Group Co., Limited (Haofeng Furniture), faces one count of offering an advantage to an agent, contrary to Section 9(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. He was released on ICAC bail, pending his appearance at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (February 7) for plea.Haofeng Furniture was registered in Hong Kong and the defendant was the sole authorised signatory of its five corporate accounts held with DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (DBS Bank). After conducting a review in December 2020, DBS Bank informed Haofeng Furniture in writing that its accounts would be terminated by the end of March 2021 and requested it to withdraw the balances in the accounts.It is alleged that on or about March 10, 2021, the defendant offered a bribe of RMB5,000 to a centre manager of DBS Bank for maintaining Haofeng Furniture’s bank accounts.The centre manager turned down the defendant’s request and DBS Bank eventually terminated the accounts of Haofeng Furniture.The defendant was arrested when he visited Hong Kong in late August 2023, and was charged yesterday upon ICAC’s receipt of legal advice from the Department of Justice recently.DBS Bank has rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the cases.The ICAC reminds business operators not to bribe bank staff in exchange for its services. The ICAC has recently launched the “Corruption Prevention Guide for Banks” to enhance the corruption prevention capabilities of banks and assist banks in reducing corruption risks in core operations, including management of bank accounts. To promote probity culture in the banking sector, an Ethics Promotion Programme for the Banking Industry was also launched to help managerial and other ranks of bank staff understand common corruption loopholes.
02
Feb 2024
Twenty months’ jail for ex-bank employee charged by ICAC jailed over $820,000 insurance fraudA former bank employee, charged by the ICAC, was today (February 2) sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment at the District Court for defrauding two clients of insurance premiums totalling over HK$820,000.Chan Ka-him, 34, former insurance specialist of the Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (Standard Chartered Bank), was earlier found guilty of three counts of fraud and one count of attempted fraud, contrary to Section 16A of the Theft Ordinance.In sentencing, Deputy District Judge Mr Peter Hui reprimanded the defendant for premeditating the scam, breaching the trust placed in him and undermining the reputation of the bank concerned.The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was posted to a branch of Standard Chartered Bank in Wan Chai. His job duties included the promotion of insurance products of Prudential Hong Kong Limited (Prudential HK) to clients of the bank under a business agreement with the insurer. Between January and March 2019, the defendant assisted two clients to take out two insurance policies of Prudential HK through Standard Chartered Bank.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that the defendant induced the two clients to transfer US$52,300 (about HK$408,000) and over HK$420,000 to the bank account of an associate of him in August and September 2019 respectively by falsely representing to assist them in settling premium payment with Prudential HK. The defendant subsequently attempted to induce Prudential HK to cancel the insurance policy by falsely claiming that the clients requested to do so.Standard Chartered Bank and Prudential HK had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.The prosecution was today represented by Public Prosecutor Wayne Lee, assisted by ICAC officers Emily Cheung and KK Chu.The ICAC has recently launched the “Corruption Prevention Guide for Banks” to enhance the corruption prevention capabilities of banks and assist banks in managing corruption risks in core operations including selling of insurance products and referral of client through case scenarios and corruption prevention safeguards. The Commission will continue to collaborate with banks to provide integrity training for their staff.
02
Feb 2024
Two more ex-site team leaders of Third Runway Project charged by ICAC jailed for bribery over workers’ employmentIn recent years, the ICAC has taken a series of enforcement actions against solicitation and acceptance of illegal rebates from construction workers and launched a series of relevant publicity and education programmes. Two more former site team leaders of a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project of the Hong Kong International Airport (Third Runway Project) were today (February 2) each sentenced to five months’ imprisonment at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts for accepting bribes from four bar-benders over their employment.Xu Ergao, 48; and Guo Tianbao, 43, both former site team leaders for bar-bending works of MLife Engineering Limited (MEL), earlier pleaded guilty to a total of four counts of conspiracy for agents to accept advantages, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.In sentencing, Magistrate Mr Jason Wan Siu-ming remarked that the defendants had exploited fellow construction workers in an extended period of time, warranting custodial sentences. The magistrate also ordered the duo to repay a total of over $90,000, equivalent to the amount of bribes involved in the present case, to MEL as restitutions.The ICAC had so far charged 26 people in relation to bribery over the employment of workers of the Third Runway Project and most of the defendants were site team leaders of a sub-contractor of the project. Twenty-one defendants, including the duo in the present case, had pleaded guilty or were found guilty after trial, receiving sentences up to 16 months in jail. Three others are awaiting plea or trial.An ICAC spokesperson urges construction workers not to tolerate corruption. Should they be asked to pay bribes in exchange for their employment, they should report to the ICAC immediately. ICAC’s report corruption hotline: 25 266 366.The court heard that MEL was a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project responsible for recruiting construction workers to conduct various works. Xu and Guo were site team leaders leading the same team of bar-benders working at the project’s construction site.Between August 2020 and April 2021, Xu and Guo conspired together to accept bribes totalling over $90,000 from four bar-benders for continuing their employment with MEL. The bar-benders believed that if they did not pay bribes ranging from 3,900 to about $33,000, their employment would be terminated.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 Ruby Cheung.
26
Jan 2024
Ex-chief operations officer of medical device firm charged as ICAC probe reveals $3.1m project payments fraudA then chief operations officer of a medical device firm was charged by the ICAC yesterday (January 25) with fraud after a corruption investigation revealed that he allegedly defrauded the medical device firm payments of over $3.1 million for a research and development (R&D) and production project by making false representation that an international corporation was the buyer of the project.Francis Fung Chung-hung, 73, former chief operations officer of Flussig Medtech Limited (Flussig), faces one count of fraud, contrary to Section 16A(1) of the Theft Ordinance. He was released on bail, pending his appearance at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts next Tuesday (January 30) for mention, when the case will be transferred to the District Court for plea.In 2018, the defendant invited an investor to invest in the R&D and production project of a medical device. The investor subsequently set up Flussig to run the project and employed the defendant as its chief operations officer. Due to the slow progress of the project, the defendant recommended the investor to invest in another R&D and production project of a coffee machine to make profit to fund the medical device project.The investor agreed to invest in the coffee machine project through Flussig and accepted defendant’s recommendation to engage BM Technology Design Limited (BM Tech) and Wargames Factory Limited (Wargames Factory) for software development, manufacturing plastic parts and supplying prototype.It is alleged that between October 2019 and April 2020, the defendant, with intent to defraud, induced Flussig to settle payments totalling over $3.1 million with BM Tech and Wargames Factory by falsely representing to Flussig that an international beverage corporation would purchase the coffee machine project from Flussig.The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. Enquiries revealed that the international beverage corporation had never entered into any business negotiation or agreement with Flussig.Flussig and the international beverage corporation concerned have rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

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