The graft trail proves cold

In their report to the ICAC, HD said that they suspected that corruption among the Yuen Chau Kok site staff might lie behind the non-compliance. Zen Pacific in their turn stated that acceptance of advantages might be affecting HD's monitoring of the site, because Hui Hon's site staff had close relationships with HD's site staff.

With respect to this contention, the site agent
agreed that they had indeed lunched with the site staff of HD but that all the lunch bills had been properly recorded. For convenience' sake, these bills would first be settled by Hui Hon and the HD site staff would later pay $30 for each meal on a monthly basis.

HD's site staff also admitted to having played mahjong once with the Hui Hon site staff. They had also twice visited karaoke bars together, sharing the costs among them.

The site agent strongly denied having offered any advantages to HD site staff. Even if the Hui Hon side had sometimes subsidized lunches, he said, this had nothing to do with any short piling.

There was insufficient evidence to support the alleged corruption. The ICAC investigation could still move forward, however, because, pursuant to Section 10(5) of the ICAC Ordinance, if an investigation into corruption leads to a suspicion that other offences (such as conspiracy to defraud) may have been committed, the ICAC has the legal power to continue pursuing such a lead.


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