Ex-worker jailed for illegal referral fees scam
A former worker of a construction engineering company, charged by the ICAC, was today (August 14) sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment at the West Kowloon Magistracy for soliciting and accepting illegal referral fees of $7,000 in total from two fellow workers in relation to their employment with the company.
Resham Singh, 41, former driver cum worker of Grand Top Construction Engineering Limited (GTC), was earlier found guilty of three charges – two of agent soliciting an advantage and one of agent accepting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.
In sentencing, Deputy Magistrate Ms Lau Suk-han said bribery was an evil in business and was not tolerated, and reprimanded the defendant for showing no remorse.
The deputy magistrate said the court should not give a wrong signal to members of the public, and hence an immediate custodial sentence was a norm for the bribery offences.
The deputy magistrate also ordered the defendant to make a restitution of $1,000 being the referral fee he had received from his fellow worker.
The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was a driver cum worker of GTC, which was granted a drainage work project in South Kowloon area by its parent company.
On April 4, 2016, a fellow worker phoned the defendant for seeking help in securing a job. Later on the same day, the defendant referred the fellow worker to work as a labourer for the drainage work project and solicited $3,000 from him as a referral fee. The fellow worker agreed to pay the fee as he needed a job at that time.
The defendant then led the fellow worker to see a then foreman of GTC for a job interview. After passing the interview, the fellow worker was employed as a worker of GTC at a daily wage of $560 on April 7, 2016.
Two days later, the defendant asked the fellow worker to pay him the referral fee. The fellow worker gave the defendant two $500 banknotes, and told the defendant that he would pay him the remaining $2,000 once he got wages from GTC.
The court heard that on June 4, 2016, the defendant met another fellow worker, and asked him for $3,000 as a referral fee for helping him get a job. The fellow worker declined his solicitation twice.
GTC had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
The prosecution was today represented by prosecuting counsel Henry Ma, assisted by ICAC officer Paul Lau.