Nineteen charged for alleged roles in false concrete tests over Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Project
Nineteen former laboratory staff of a contractor (Company A) of the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) have been charged by the ICAC today (November 15) in two cases for their alleged roles in producing false concrete compression tests for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Project.
In the first case, 18 former staff of Company A face a joint charge of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law, and will appear at the Tuen Mun Magistracy on Friday (November 17) for transfer of the case to the District Court for plea.
The defendants, aged between 23 and 65, are a former senior site laboratory technician, 12 former site laboratory technicians and five former laboratory assistants of Company A.
At the material time, the defendants were employed by Company A and worked at the Public Works Regional Laboratory at Siu Ho Wan. They were responsible for conducting construction material compliance tests, including concrete compression tests.
The laboratory was established by the CEDD in late 2012 to meet the increased demand for construction material compliance tests arising from the construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. The management and operation of the laboratory were outsourced to Company A under a consultancy agreement.
Two Principal Technical Officers (PTOs) of the CEDD were posted to the laboratory at different periods to oversee the services provided by Company A and to act as the Approved Signatory for issuing accredited reports on the tests conducted at the laboratory under the Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (HOKLAS).
The joint charge alleges that between January 1, 2013 and July 26, 2016, the 18 defendants conspired together and with other persons unknown to defraud the two PTOs and other officers of the CEDD.
They were alleged to have dishonestly altered the date and/or time of the computers connected to the compression machines in the laboratory; and/or used tested or high strength concrete cubes or a metal calibration cylinder to substitute the original concrete sample cubes delivered to the laboratory for construction material compliance testing, in order to conceal and rectify concrete compression tests which had not been conducted in accordance with the requirements of the CEDD.
They were also alleged to have induced the two PTOs or other officers of the CEDD to certify the relevant reports of the tests under HOKLAS, which the PTOs or other officers of the CEDD would not have otherwise certified.
In the second case, the defendant, 61, former site laboratory technician of Company A, faces two charges of using false instruments, contrary to Section 73 of the Crimes Ordinance.
The defendant will appear at the Tuen Mun Magistracy on Friday (November 17) for plea.
At the material time, the defendant was employed by Company A as site laboratory technician to work at the laboratory. He was responsible for conducting construction material compliance tests, including concrete compression tests.
The charges allege that between September 1, 2012 and June 30, 2015, the defendant used false instruments, namely computer-generated record slip and/or worksheet recording the results of compression test on concrete sample cubes delivered to the laboratory for testing, with the intention of inducing somebody to accept them as genuine.
The above two cases arose from a corruption complaint referred by the CEDD, which, together with the Highways Department and the Transport and Housing Bureau, have rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation.
All defendants in the two cases have been released on ICAC bail, pending their court appearance on Friday.