Macau’s Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) says it is cooperating with the Hong Kong authorities as the latter investigate a series of alleged offers – dating back between 2014 and 2017 – of circa HKD1.5 million (US$185,500), in bribes to a person described as a former “director” of the facilities department at Macau casino operator Wynn Resorts (Macau) SA.
The Macau body – which did not name Wynn Resorts Macau – said in a Monday press release that all the people allegedly involved were Hong Kong residents, and the suspected offences took place in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) did name the gaming company, identifying Wynn Resorts Macau.
It stated in its Monday press announcement that the alleged bribery effort was in order to try to win air-conditioning maintenance contracts worth HKD22 million at Wynn’s Macau properties. The instigators were said to be Li Kin-wang, 58, senior sales manager of Oh Luen Air-conditioning Ltd, and Woo Tak-hoi, 55, at the time a director of Wai Luen Air-conditioning Ltd.
At the relevant time, Oh Luen and Wai Luen were companies respectively established in Macau and Hong Kong. Both companies were said to have been operated by the same owner.
The two people were charged on Friday with offences, by Hong Kong’s ICAC.
It claimed the alleged wrongdoing took place between June 2014 and January 2017. ICAC inquiries revealed that during the period, Wynn Resorts Macau had awarded around 70 air-conditioning maintenance contracts worth around HKD22 million to Oh Luen.
Wynn Macau, the gaming company’s resort on the city’s peninsula, opened in September 2006. Wynn Palace, the firm’s Cotai resort, launched in August 2016.
The suspect Li faces seven counts of offering advantage to an agent, contrary to Hong Kong’s Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.
The suspect Li and the suspect Woo jointly face two counts of conspiracy to offer advantages to an agent, contrary to that ordinance, and contrary to Hong Kong’s Crimes Ordinance.
Hong Kong’s ICAC alleges that suspect Li offered seven bribes totalling over HKD930,000 to a then director of Wynn Resorts Macau “as an inducement to, or reward for, the latter to receive and consider quotations or tenders submitted by Oh Luen to Wynn in relation to air-conditioning system maintenance services”.
The remaining two charges allege that suspect Li and suspect Woo conspired together to offer two bribes totalling HKD560,000 to the then-director of Wynn Resorts Macau for the same purpose.
Bailed for court on May 19
The two defendants were released on ICAC bail, pending their appearance at Hong Kong’s Eastern Magistrates’ Courts this Thursday (May 19), at which time the case is due to be transferred to that city’s District Court.
Since 2013, Oh Luen had been an approved supplier of Wynn Resorts Macau.
Macau’s Commission Against Corruption said in its own press release that in “November 2018 it had received some anonymous reports claiming that, between 2013 and 2018, some members of an air-conditioning system supplier in Hong Kong, through paying bribes to the director of the facilities department of a gaming company in Macau, secured awards of various works procurement and services contracts”.
Macau’s CCAC said it had subsequently carried out investigations. In February 2019, the CCAC received a request for assistance from the ICAC.
The CCAC said its own investigation showed that the target of the bribery effort “was a Hong Kong resident employed by a gaming company of Macau in 2007,” and who was “responsible for the procurement and award of repair and maintenance services”.
Macau’s anti-corruption body added: “The investigation also reveals that both of the suspects from the air-conditioning system supplier were Hong Kong residents who had transferred the money to the director via bank accounts of Hong Kong.”
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