Officer accused of using police van as airport taxi service

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 August, 2011, 12:00am


A senior superintendent is under investigation after being accused of abusing his authority by using a police vehicle for a personal errand.

The alleged misuse of the vehicle occurred on Sunday, when Senior Superintendent Dominique Ziemann of the marine police returned to Hong Kong after a family trip.

It is alleged that he called the airport police station in Catering Road West, asking to be picked up at the terminal in a van and driven to the police station to collect his car.

'A police vehicle is for official use,' a senior officer said.

Marine police were investigating the incident. 'If proved, a disciplinary hearing will be held,' the officer said.

Another officer said Ziemann was not on duty or returning from an official trip so should not have been allowed to use the van.

Lawmaker Dr Joseph Lee Kok-long, who is also a vice-chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Council, said the incident raised concern over the abuse of public resources. He called on the police commissioner to explain the case.

It is understood that Ziemann told the force's management that he saw the van at the airport and jumped in for a lift to the police station. Initial investigation indicated that he parked his car at the police station through proper procedures, police said.

Ziemann was previously posted at the airport police station. He currently heads the marine police's support bureau.

It is not the first time marine police officers have been accused of misusing force property. In November 2009, 27 senior officers were accused of using a police launch to travel to a banquet on Po Toi Island.

Sunday's alleged incident is the third time in recent weeks that officers' actions have become the subject of public concern.

Two weeks ago, three off-duty officers were allegedly arrested with prostitutes during an anti-vice operation on the mainland.

Last month, racy pictures of uniformed policewomen appeared online, prompting the force to launch an internal investigation and Commissioner of Police Andy Tsang Wai-hung to remind officers to uphold high disciplinary standards.