Further Hong Kong arrests possible in lead-in-water scandal, sources say
This emerged after two plumbing company directors were detained over allegations that they forged documents to cover up lead solder deliveries to two housing estates
Further arrests over last year’s lead-in-water scandal are “possible”, sources told the Post on Thursday after police arrested two former directors from one of the plumbing subcontractors that installed water pipes in three affected housing estates.
The move came as force insiders said other related plumbing subcontractors were under police investigation following referrals by the Department of Justice.
On Wednesday, two former directors from Golden Day Engineering Company, Yung Kwok-choi, 57, and Lam Kai-king, 51, were arrested for forgery in the first such action by law enforcers over the scandal.
Golden Day, which oversaw plumbing work at three housing estates affected by the scandal, was subcontracted to install water pipes for Paul Y General Contractors.
The pair were said to have forged documents to cover up lead solder deliveries to two of the affected estates.
During a hearing of the commission of inquiry that investigated the issue, Lam, who was responsible for the company’s internal affairs, including procurement of materials, admitted she had forged delivery notes to cover up lead solder deliveries for two estates being constructed by the main contractor, Paul Y.
She accused Yung of insinuating that she should forge the documents to show the solder supplied by Prosperity Building Materials Company was lead-free, but he denied any involvement.
The delivery notes were requested by Paul Y General Contractors after the scandal broke in July last year.
A police spokesman said the two suspects were released on bail pending further investigations. They must report back next month. Investigations by the Commercial Crime Bureau are continuing.
Another subcontractor, Siu Kin-wong of the Hang Lee Engineering Company, who installed water pipes at one of the estates, was accused of lying at the inquiry after he denied ever seeing lead-free soldering wire approved by the Housing Authority.
The commission of inquiry’s report was released on May 31, blaming it on a “classic case of buck-passing” and urging the government to retest drinking water at all the city’s public housing estates.
The report was released minus redacted paragraphs on three out of 377 pages to avoid “any prejudice” to related criminal investigations and possible prosecutions.
The missing information concerns three staff members of plumbing subcontractors.