Hong Kong courts

Hong Kong police engineer accused of tricking government out of HK$2 million

Alleged offence took place in 1997 when Wong Chun-kau claimed he was unmarried to receive housing loans and allowances

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 January, 2018, 9:30pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 January, 2018, 2:35am

Hong Kong Police’s chief telecommunications engineer, once tipped to serve as the Innovation and Technology Bureau’s deputy minister, was on Friday accused of concealing his married status to mislead the government into granting him more than HK$1.9 million in housing loans and allowances.

Wong Chun-kau, 58, made his first court appearance on Friday, more than 20 years after the alleged offence took place in his filing of a Statement on Housing and Housing Related Benefits Received by an Officer/His Spouse on September 8, 1997.

At the time Wong was eligible for the government’s Home Financing Scheme as a telecommunications engineer with the Hong Kong Police Force.

The scheme granted him more than HK$1.9 million in a down payment loan and home financing allowances.

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But prosecutors told the Eastern Court that his statement was “false, erroneous or defective” because it claimed that Wong was single when he was in fact married with a wife and receiving housing benefits.

The case brought by the Independent Commission Against Corruption arose from a complaint referred by the Treasury.

Wong was charged with one count of using a false document with intent to deceive his principal, an offence is punishable by three years’ imprisonment and a HK$100,000 fine.

His case will return on February 12 for plea.

In the meantime, Wong was released on HK$10,000 bail by Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai on the condition that he live at his reported address and refrain from contacting any prosecution witnesses.

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Wong was once tipped to serve as the bureau’s deputy minister before its launch in 2015. The post of undersecretary was later taken up by Dr David Chung Wai-keung.

The Home Financing Scheme was introduced by the colonial government on October 1, 1990, to promote home ownership among civil servants.

Under the scheme, beneficiaries receive monthly home financing allowances for a maximum period of 120 months to repay mortgages for residential property in Hong Kong. Officers appointed on permanent and pensionable terms are also eligible for a down payment loan to help them acquire residential properties. Such loans are repayable with interest over 10 years.