On 8 January 2000, just one day
before the press conference, the ICAC commenced arrest
operations and searched a number of places in the territory
for two consecutive days. Eighty investigators were deployed
in the action, 21 search warrants were executed and eight
persons (including three HD officers) were arrested. (They
were the project clerk of works, an assistant clerk of
works, a works supervisor, two ex-directors
of Hui Hon and three Hui Hon staff members including the
the site foreman
and the assistant engineer.)
They were alleged to have committed corruption and conspiracy
to defraud by using short piles to save construction costs
in relation to the foundation works at the Yuen Chau Kok
During the operations, the ICAC seized a large amount
of documents and exhibits. Four shipping containers were
needed to hold the substandard concrete cores alone.
The investigators had to interview all the suspects and
witnesses and examine the seized documents, progress records,
and test records all within a very short space of time.
The records seemed flawless, however, and the investigators
realized that they would now have to search for clues
between the lines.