Correctional Services Department instructor arranged jail visits for bogus relatives and friends, Hong Kong court hears

Visitors allegedly took money out of prison on inmates’ behalf

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 October, 2016, 3:50pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 October, 2016, 9:20pm

A Correctional Services Department instructor allegedly conspired with a long list of others – including prisoners – to arrange jail visits by bogus relatives and for them to take money out of jail on the prisoners’ behalf, a court heard on Thursday.

It is alleged that Leung Ngan-lam, 36, arranged at least nine visits for people claiming to be relatives and friends of prisoners to Tong Fuk Correctional Institution on Lantau Island between 2013 and 2014.

The visitors allegedly then took sums of money, varying from HK$4,000 to HK$10,000, from the prisoner’s belongings out of jail, Tsuen Wan Court heard.

Leung is also accused ofsending 18 letters that facilitated the alleged fraud.

He faces five counts of conspiracy to defraud for making false representations to the department and two alternative counts of misconduct in public office.

His co-accused Chan Yee-lap, 46, an unemployed man, faces five counts of conspiracy to defraud.

Then-prisoners Au Yeung Tin-lun, 53, allegedly visited by fake step-daughter Kwok Hoi-yan; Lau Lap-fan, 59, who got a visit from bogus friend Ngai Sin-yee; and Yau Sai-seung, 50, allegedly visited by fake wife Shi Yi, each face one of conspiracy to defraud.

Kelly Kuswati Dewi, 47, who allegedly masqueraded as the wife of prisoner Kum Wing-tim in order to visit him, also faces one count of conspiracy to defraud.

After the charges were read to them, the defendants, who had yet to be asked to make a plea, said: “Understood.”

Acting Principal Magistrate Cheang Kei-hong granted bail to all but Lau, who made no bail application.

The case was adjourned to November 1 at the District Court for the defendants to make a plea.

In a separate case, housewife Wong Sau-yu, 30, was also charged with one of conspiracy to defraud the department with another person so that she could enter Tong Fuk jail as a prisoner’s friend in a bid to retrieve bail money for him. She pleaded not guilty and would be back in court on November 17 for another pre-trial hearing.