Duo charged by ICAC jailed for assisting team leader to collect bribes from Third Runway Project workers
Two former scaffolders of a sub-contractor of the Third Runway Project of the Hong Kong International Airport (Third Runway Project), charged by the ICAC, were today (June 9) sentenced to three months and four months in jail respectively at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts for conspiring with a site team leader to collect bribes totalling about $60,000 from three fellow workers for continuing their employment with the sub-contractor.
Zhou Sheng, 58, and Huang Dehou, 42, both former scaffolding construction workers of MLife Engineering Limited (MEL), were jailed for three months and four months respectively.
Zhou earlier pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy for agents to accept advantages, while Huang was earlier found guilty of two counts of conspiracy for agents to accept advantages after trial, all contrary to section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.
In sentencing, Magistrate Mr Lee Chi-ho remarked that the defendants acted as the go-between to collect bribes from fellow workers for the site-team leader. The court had to impose custodial sentences on them, given the criminal liability involved.
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. Scaffolders Zhou and Huang worked in a team led by then site team leader Zhuang Huitao.
At the material time, Zhou introduced another scaffolder to work in Zhuang’s team. Subsequently between September 2020 and June 2021, Zhou assisted Zhuang to accept bribes totalling over $43,000 from the fellow scaffolder, who acceded to the solicitation due to his worries of losing the job opportunity. After collecting bribes every month, Zhou passed the same to Zhuang.
Between September 2021 and March 2022, Zhuang conspired with Huang to accept bribes totalling about $17,000 from two other scaffolders for assisting the duo to continue their employment with MEL. The two fellow workers believed that they would be terminated by Zhuang if they did not pay any bribe.
Co-defendant Zhuang, 32, former site team leader of MEL, earlier pleaded guilty to the above three and 13 other bribery charges for soliciting and accepting bribes totalling over $180,000 from six scaffolders. His sentence is scheduled for June 23 at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts.
As the relevant corruption investigation is continuing, the ICAC does not rule out further law enforcement actions.
An ICAC spokesperson urges construction workers not to tolerate corruption. Should they be asked to offer advantages in exchange for their employment, they should report to the ICAC immediately. Report corruption hotline: 25 266 366.
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 Public Prosecutor Lily Yip, assisted by ICAC officers Lawrence Wong.