ICAC arrests four over alleged bribes

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 September, 2007, 12:00am

The ICAC has arrested four people, including two executive directors and a senior accountant of a listed company, for alleged bribery in relation to the acquisition of a bio-engineering company.

A director of the bio-engineering company was also arrested during an anti-graft officers' operation, code-named 'Wise Man', which started on Wednesday.

In a statement released last night, the Independent Commission Against Corruption said the investigation arose from a complaint that alleged two of the listed company's executive directors offered 'advantages' to the director of the bio-engineering company.

The ICAC did not reveal the name of the listed company, but a commission source revealed the company was Extrawell Group. Extrawell's principal business is marketing and distributing pharmaceutical products on the mainland. Stock trading in the company has been suspended since Wednesday, following the arrest of the two directors.

'The alleged advantages were said to be rewards for facilitating the acquisition of the bio-engineering company by the listed company at an inflated price,' an ICAC spokesman said.

'The acquisition was made through another firm that was allegedly controlled by one of the executive directors.'

The listed company's executive directors also allegedly offered advantages to an independent non-executive director of the company in return for the independent director's resignation to facilitate the acquisition of the bio-engineering company, the ICAC added.

'It was also alleged that the listed company's executive directors and senior accountant conspired to use false documents in relation to the acquisition, with intent to deceive the board of directors and minority shareholders,' the spokesman said.