Ex-team leader charged by ICAC jailed for accepting bribes from workers over public housing construction project
A former team leader of a sub-contractor of a public housing construction project in Tung Chung, charged by the ICAC on Monday, was today (February 16) sentenced to five weeks’ imprisonment after admitting at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts that he had accepted illegal rebates totalling about $18,000 from four fellow workers for securing their employment and releasing salary payments.
Chan Chi-keung, 57, former team leader of Hui Kai Construction Engineering Company Limited (Hui Kai), pleaded guilty to seven charges – two of conspiracy for an agent to accept advantages, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO) and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance; and five of agent accepting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the POBO.
In sentencing, Acting Chief Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen said the defendant committed the offences premeditatedly. The illegal rebates the defendant accepted took up a considerable portion of the wages of workers concerned.
The acting chief magistrate also ordered the defendant to make restitution of about $18,000, which was equivalent to the illegal rebates involved, to Hui Kai.
The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was a team leader of Hui Kai, a sub-contractor of a public housing construction project in Tung Chung carrying out carpentry works at the construction site. Hui Kai recruited carpenters through referral from its employees.
Between October 2019 and February 2020, the defendant referred four carpenters to work at the above construction site. They were employed by Hui Kai at $1,250 consisting of daily wage and bonus.
Before or after those carpenters started to work at the construction site, the defendant requested them to pay a daily rebate of $100 per working day as “tea money”. During the above period, the defendant had accepted illegal rebates totalling about $15,000 from them.
The defendant had also requested one of the carpenters to pay $3,000 before handing over a bonus cheque involving around $3,600 issued by Hui Kai to the carpenter. The carpenter acceded to the defendant’s request as he believed that the defendant would not pass him the cheque should he refuse to pay.
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 defendant.
Hui Kai had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Ruby Cheung.