Absconder brought to court for bribing government officers over public park construction
A former employee of a sub-contractor of a public park construction project, who had absconded for over 25 years after being charged by the ICAC in late 1994 for offering bribes totalling $67,000 to government officers over lax supervision, was brought to the District Court today (April 13).
Ng Yip-wan, 92, former site agent of now-defunct Siffa Engineering Limited (Siffa), faced nine charges—two of conspiracy to offer an advantage to a public servant, contrary to Section 4(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO) and Common Law; and seven of offering an advantage to a public servant, contrary to Section 4(1)(a) of the POBO.
The defendant was charged with the above offences on November 4, 1994. After he failed to appear at the District Court for trial on September 11, 1995, a warrant for his arrest was issued. He was arrested by ICAC officers and brought to the District Court today after returning to Hong Kong from the Mainland.
No plea was taken today. Judge Mr Kwok Wai-kin adjourned the case to May 26 for plea. The defendant was remanded in the custody of the Correctional Services Department.
At the material time, then Territory Development Department (TDD)—which merged with the Civil Engineering Department to become the Civil Engineering and Development Department in 2004—was responsible for the overall management of the Tsing Yi Park construction project.
In August 1993, Siffa entered into two sub-contracts with the project’s main contractor to undertake the construction and site management works of the Tsing Yi Park. The defendant was a site agent of Siffa responsible for overseeing the works of Siffa at the construction site.
An Inspector of Works and a Works Supervisor of the TDD were responsible for inspecting the works carried out by Siffa at the construction site, and performing tests on the materials used by Siffa in accordance with the relevant specifications and requirements.
Two of the charges alleged that on two occasions between February and August 1994, the defendant and the proprietor of Siffa conspired together, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, to offer a monthly bribe of $10,000 and $7,000 respectively to officers of the TDD as an inducement to or reward for carrying out lax inspections of the works of Siffa at the aforesaid construction site and not causing any difficulties.
Six other charges alleged that on six other occasions during the aforesaid period, the defendant, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, offered a bribe of $10,000 on each occasion, totalling $60,000, to the aforesaid Inspector of Works of the TDD for the same purpose.
The remaining charge alleged that between August 13 and September 1, 1994, the defendant, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, offered a bribe of $7,000 to the aforesaid Works Supervisor of the TDD for the same purpose.
ICAC inquiries revealed that the defendant offered bribes totalling $67,000 to the two TDD officers.
The TDD had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
The prosecution was today represented by Public Prosecutor Cecilia Ng, assisted by ICAC officer Eric Yong.