THE police's Commercial Crime Bureau is investigating claims by workers on the Kwai Chung viaduct project that they were cheated of their wages. The Labour Department is also collecting information and seeking advice from the Legal Department on possible prosecution. The Thai workers, who went on strike briefly last week after part of their wages had been deducted for meals and accommodation, yesterday negotiated with their contractors. Parties noted that the joint-venture company Campenon Bernard, Sogea and Franki, had paid the full wages according to contract terms. About a quarter of the wage, about $2,500 a month each, was deducted for food and accommodation. However, it was found a similar amount was transferred to a company in Thailand by autopay. The workers and contractors said they had no idea of the autopay transactions, but bank documents showed workers' signatures had been obtained as authorisation. Lee Cheuk-yan, chief executive of the Confederation of Trade Unions, which sat in on the negotiations, said it was clear that money which should have gone to workers had been taken by others. 'It seems that workers have been cheated. We estimate the amount is more than $10 million as about 800 workers are involved,' he said. Some workers last night reported to police and demanded the Thai Consulate-General conduct an investigation. Commissioner for Labour Stephen Ip Shu-kwan said his department was investigating to see whether anyone should be prosecuted. Mr Ip said: 'It seems that something went wrong between the contractors' payment of salaries and workers' getting the money. 'We are still investigating. But since it involves many parties such as contractors, sub-contractors and camp bosses, it will take time.' Agreements were signed yesterday between the two parties to ensure workers retrieved their passports and salary records for the past eight months. Workers should not be punished by contractors because of the strike. Thai workers on the Rambler Channel bridge in Tsing Yi, who had been on strike since Wednesday, returned to work yesterday after being promised overtime payments.