Duo guilty of fraud over $290,000 government green funding

2021-7-29


A director and an employee of an air-conditioning system supplier, charged by the ICAC, were today (July 29) convicted of conspiracy to defraud the government of funding of $290,000 by submitting false quotations in relation to the installation of an environmental-friendly air-conditioning system for a printing company.

Tsui Wai-man, 46, then director-cum-shareholder of now defunct Tomi Fuji. E.T. Limited (Tomi Fuji); and Wong Tsui-ting, 33, then assistant of Tomi Fuji, were found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.

After delivering her verdict, Ms Amy Chan Wai-mun, sitting as Deputy District Judge, adjourned the case to August 18 for mitigation. The defendants were remanded in the custody of the Correctional Services Department.

The case arose from a corruption complaint. Subsequent ICAC enquiries revealed the above offence.

The court heard that in April 2008, the Environmental Protection Department launched the Cleaner Production Partnership Programme (the Programme) providing funding to encourage and facilitate Hong Kong-owned factories in Guangdong and Hong Kong to adopt clean production technologies and practices. The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) was the implementation agent for the Programme.

Applicants for funding under the Programme must comply with the relevant procurement guidelines. Written quotations from at least five suppliers should be obtained if the aggregate value of a procurement project exceeded $50,000 but remained within $1.43 million.

At the material time, Tsui was a director-cum-shareholder of Tomi Fuji, an air-conditioning system supplier. Wong was an assistant of the company.

Upon Tsui’s recommendation, a printing company in Hong Kong engaged Tomi Fuji to install an environmental-friendly air-conditioning system and apply for funding under the Programme with the HKPC. In July 2014, the HKPC received an application of the printing company filed via Wong’s email for a funding of $300,000.

In October 2014, Tsui instructed another employee of Tomi Fuji to submit a quotation of Tomi Fuji and four false quotations of four other engineering companies to the HKPC. The price quoted by Tomi Fuji was the lowest in comparison with those shown in the false quotations.

Believing that the printing company had complied with the relevant procurement guidelines to obtain five written quotations, the HKPC approved the printing company’s funding application in December 2014. After Tomi Fuji completed the installation of the air-conditioning system, the HKPC released funding of $290,000 to the printing company in August 2016.

ICAC enquiries revealed that the four engineering companies had never prepared and issued the four quotations submitted to the HKPC. The false quotations were in fact prepared by Wong and the aforesaid employee of Tomi Fuji upon Tsui’s instruction.

The HKPC, the printing company and the four engineering companies concerned had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

The prosecution was today represented by Senior Public Prosecutor Anthea Kwok, assisted by ICAC officer Eric Siu.
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