Duo jailed for bribery over employment of construction workers
Two former workers of a construction engineering company, charged by the ICAC, were today (November 27) sentenced to jail terms up to three months and six weeks at the Tuen Mun Magistracy for soliciting and accepting illegal rebates totalling over $43,000 from four fellow workers in relation to their employment with the company.
Siu Ming-hon, 32, former worker of Ming Kee Construction (Steelwork) Engineering Limited (MKS), received a jail term of three months and six weeks, while Loong Wai-ki, 32, former worker of MKS, was jailed for three months.
In sentencing, Acting Principal Magistrate Ms Ivy Chui Yee-mei said the case was not a single incident. While the defendants considered soliciting and accepting illegal rebates was a “custom” in the industry, the court had a duty to tell the public that the “custom” was against the law.
The acting principal magistrate said as the bribery offences committed by the defendants were serious in nature, she had to mete out immediate custodial sentences to them so as to serve as a deterrent.
The acting principle magistrate also ordered Siu and Loong to pay $24,725 and $18,725 as restitution to the Government respectively.
Siu and Loong earlier pleaded guilty to a joint charge of conspiracy for agent to accept advantages, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO) and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance.
Siu also admitted a similar charge of conspiracy for agent to accept advantages, and another charge of agent soliciting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the POBO.
The court heard that at the material time, Siu and Loong were workers of MKS, a subcontractor responsible for the installation of glass curtains and exterior wall works at a private residential development project in Tuen Mun. The duo assisted MKS in recruiting workers for the project.
On May 25, 2016, Loong referred a man to work for the project. Loong told the man that he would be paid a daily wage of $1,100, but had to pay Loong $450 as rebate per working day.
Loong reduced the daily rebate by $50 in June 2016, and further cut it by $50 in the following month. In September or October 2016, Siu told the man that an additional $100 daily wage had been paid to him, and requested the man to refund it to him.
As a result, the man had paid rebates of about $37,450 in total to Loong on five occasions between June and October 2016.
The court heard that on April 19, 2016, Siu met two brothers and solicited $50 per working day from them as rebates for referring them to work for the project.
On the following day, Siu referred the brothers to work for the project. Between April 19 and July 10, 2016, Siu had received about $6,000 to $8,000 in total as rebates from them.
The court heard that in early May 2016, a day before the pay day, Siu solicited a rebate of $200 per working day from a fellow worker under his supervision. The fellow worker turned down his solicitation.
MKS had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.
The prosecution was today represented by ICAC officer Eric Siu.