Ex-site team leader charged by ICAC jailed for soliciting and accepting bribes from Third Runway Project plumbers
A former site team leader of a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project of the Hong Kong International Airport (Third Runway Project) was today (January 3) sentenced to six months’ imprisonment at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts for soliciting and accepting illegal rebates totalling about $6,300 from two plumbers for securing their employment with the sub-contractor. The defendant was among 17 people charged by the Commission with bribery over workers’ employment arising from the relevant investigation.
Chu Kwun-fai, 50, former site team leader of MLife Engineering Limited (MEL), was earlier found guilty of a total of eight charges – seven of agent accepting an advantage and one of agent soliciting an advantage, all contrary to Section 9(1) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.
Magistrate Mr Tsang Hing-tung remarked that the court attached great importance to Hong Kong’s reputation as a graft-free society which had taken the city many years to build. He meted out a jail term of six months to the defendant, and ordered the defendant to pay his then employer about $6,300 in restitution, equivalent to the amount of illegal rebates involved in the case.
An ICAC spokesperson urges construction workers not to tolerate corruption. Should they be asked to pay illegal rebates in exchange for their employment, they should report to the ICAC immediately.
The court heard that at the material time, MEL was a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project responsible for recruiting construction workers to conduct various works. The defendant was employed by MEL as site team leader of a team of plumbers at the project’s construction site.
Between September and December 2020, the defendant solicited and accepted illegal rebates totalling about $6,300 from two plumbers in his team for assisting them to secure and continue their employment with MEL.
The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint. The defendant was prosecuted in May 2022 upon legal advice sought from the Department of Justice. As the relevant corruption investigation is continuing, the ICAC does not rule out further law enforcement actions.
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 Senior Public Prosecutor Marcus Lee, assisted by ICAC officer Lai Yiu-wai.