Case of policeman ‘bribed with sex and cash’ heads to higher Hong Kong court
City’s anti-graft agency wants case heard at District Court, which can hand out jail terms of up to seven years
A former top anti-gang police officer accused of accepting cash and sex in exchange for tip-offs about investigations into nightclubs faces the prospect of several years in prison if found guilty, after his case was moved to a higher Hong Kong court.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) asked that the case go to the District Court, where judges can mete out jail terms of up to seven years. Lower courts can at most hand out two years.
Superintendent Ng Wai-hon, 53, was charged along with merchant Luen Kei-cheung, 46, and Tse Hoi-kin, 37, who declared himself unemployed. They all made their first court appearance on Wednesday to hear a total of eight charges at the Eastern Court.
All three indicated they understood the allegations, as senior ICAC investigator Tang Yuen-ki applied to transfer the case to the higher District Court.
They were granted bail, on condition that they hand over their passports, identity cards and mainland Chinese travel permits, and stay at their home addresses.
“If you change your addresses,” Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai said, “you must inform the ICAC prior to any changes.”
They were also told not to contact 59 of the 84 prosecution witnesses, who include civilians, civil servants and police officers. The other 25 are ICAC officers.
The case was adjourned to November 20, pending transfer papers to move the case to a higher court for plea.
Ng is charged with one count of accepting an advantage as a public servant, on top of one count of conspiracy for a public servant to accept advantages, jointly charged with Luen and Tse – the two operators of MB Club Mont Busa and Golden, in Wan Chai.
There were also five charges alternative to the conspiracy charge, including one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, which all three men jointly face.
Luen alone faced one count of offering an advantage to a public servant.
The alleged offences spanned from November 29, 2015 to January 24 this year, according to the ICAC.
Ng, who worked in the crime unit of Hong Kong Island regional police headquarters, was said to have accepted HK$114,000 (US$14,600) on five occasions, and HK$210,000 on another occasion, from Luen and Tse as rewards for giving them confidential information about investigations into the nightclubs.
The officer was also accused of accepting the sexual services of a woman provided by Luen on January 11 this year, as a reward for disclosing similar confidential information.
Investigations are still ongoing.