Hong Kong’s top graft-busters pay rare ‘courtesy’ call to gambling hub Macau

Talks with counterparts in casino destination come days before arrival of leading Beijing official set to make ‘important announcement’

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 May, 2017, 11:16pm
UPDATED : Friday, 05 May, 2017, 11:16pm

Hong Kong’s top anti-corruption official made a rare official visit to Macau on Friday, heading a delegation which included two senior investigators.

The one-day trip to the world’s most cash-rich casino destination was only the second time in five years that Simon Peh Yun-lu, commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, has been in the city’s sister special administrative region on official business.

An ICAC spokesman described the trip as “purely a courtesy visit”, but the commissioner was accompanied by two heavy-hitters from the operations department – the anti-graft agency’s powerful investigative unit.

The visit also came just three days before senior Chinese leader and Beijing’s top man on Hong Kong and Macau affairs, Zhang Dejiang, arrives in the former Portuguese enclave on Monday for a landmark visit during which he is expected to make an “important announcement”.

Chinese state leader Zhang Dejiang to visit Macau early next month for ‘major announcement’

Peh and the delegation – which included Ricky Yu Chun-cheong, the ICAC’s director of investigation for public sector corruption and Raymond Kong Yim-kwan, a chief investigator in the operations department – met with Macau’s prosecutor general, Ip Son-sang, and his counterpart in the Macau Commission Against Corruption, Cheong Weng-chon.

Ip’s predecessor – Ho Chio-meng – is currently in a corruption trial involving suspected kickbacks linked to millions of dollars’ worth of public works contracts following his arrest by Macau anti-graft agents in March last year.

ATM withdrawals in Macau top HK$10 billion a month, as authorities ensure machines never run dry, source says

The ICAC delegation, which included Raymond Ng Kwok-ming, director of community relations, Ho Wai-chi, assistant director of corruption prevention, and Joseph Lee Yat-sau, secretary to the commissioner, returned to Hong Kong on Friday night.

Meanwhile, next week the ICAC will host an international seminar on financial investigation titled “Cutting the Financial Vein of the Corrupt”, which Peh called “an unparalleled opportunity” to foster partnerships.