Twelve months’ jail for $200,000 bribery over air-condition piping works


The proprietor of an air-condition engineering company (Company A), charged by the ICAC, was today (October 26) sentenced to twelve months’ imprisonment at the West Kowloon Magistracy for having conspired with a then assistant project manager of another engineering firm for the latter to accept illegal rebates of about $200,000 for recommending air-condition piping works of a commercial complex to his company.

The defendant, 54, sole proprietor of Company A, was earlier found guilty of one count of conspiracy for an agent to accept advantages, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.

In sentencing, Magistrate Peony Wong Nga-yan reprimanded the defendant for undermining the image of Hong Kong and depriving other contractors of fair competition.

The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was the sole proprietor of Company A, a renovation contractor providing installation and maintenance services for air-conditioning systems.

In mid 2013, another engineering firm secured a renovation project for refurbishing Yau Oi Commercial Complex in Yau Oi Estate, Tuen Mun.

An assistant project manager of the engineering firm, who supervised the renovation project, invited the defendant in September 2013 to submit a quotation on the piping works of its air-conditioning system. The defendant gave a verbal quotation at $800,000.

The defendant later received requests from the assistant project manager for inflating the quotation as the latter wanted to get some cash rebates.

The court heard that after discussions, the duo agreed to quote over $1,090,000 for the project, so that the assistant project manager would get cash rebates of $200,000 in total.

On March 29, 2014, a written quotation of over $1,090,000 was submitted to the assistant project manager of the engineering firm for approval. After the operator of the engineering firm bargained with the defendant for a discount, the defendant eventually agreed to reduce the project price to about $1 million.

After the defendant received project payments from the engineering firm, he received calls from the assistant project manager requesting for a certain amount of cash to be paid to him at a designated location.

On five occasions between July and November 2014, the defendant paid a total of approximately $200,000, being illegal cash rebates, to the assistant project manager, the court was told.

The prosecution was today represented by prosecuting counsel Henry Ma, assisted by ICAC officer Jessie Fu.
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