Ex-welder of engineering company sentenced for accepting $39,000 illegal ‘referral fees’
A former welder of an engineering company, charged by the ICAC, was today (August 20) sentenced at the West Kowloon Magistracy for accepting illegal “referral fees” totalling over $39,000 from two construction workers in relation to their employment with the company.
He Shidao, 50, former welder of Kong’s Engineering Company (KEC), was ordered by Deputy Magistrate Alan Ng Hoi-lun to perform 240 hours of community service, and to repay over $39,000 as restitution to KEC.
The defendant was earlier found guilty of six counts of agent accepting an advantage, contrary to Section 9(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.
The court heard that at the material time, the defendant was a welder of KEC, a subcontractor responsible for the drainage system installation works at a construction site in Tsuen Wan Park. In May 2016, the defendant was asked by the proprietor of KEC to introduce construction workers to work for the company.
In around July 2016, the defendant introduced a man to work at the Tsuen Wan Park construction site for KEC at a daily wage of $1,400, and solicited $400 as a daily “referral fee” from him. In fear of losing the job opportunity, the man reluctantly acceded to the defendant’s request.
On four occasions between September 12, 2016 and January 10, 2017, the man gave cash totalling $36,000 to the defendant upon the latter’s solicitation as “referral fees” concerning 90 days he worked at the construction site.
Upon the invitation of the defendant, another man started to work at the Tsuen Wan Park construction site as a cement sand and mortar worker at a daily wage of $1,300 on November 26, 2016.
When the cement sand and mortar worker received a $7,000 cheque for five days he worked at the site in November 2016, he found that his daily wage was in fact $1,400. The defendant asked the cement sand and mortar worker to refund the differences to him as referral fees.
The court heard that the defendant respectively accepted $500 and $2,600 as “referral fees” from the cement sand and mortar worker on December 30, 2016 and February 1, 2017 for 31 days he worked at the construction site.
The cement sand and mortar worker made the payment because he considered that his employment would be at risk if he refused to do so, the court heard.
KEC 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 David Ng.