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Hong Kong Authorities Crack Down on Bid-Rigging: 20 Arrested in Corruption Sweep

 |  April 18, 2024
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the Competition Commission of Hong Kong, in a joint operation, apprehended 20 suspects involved in bid-rigging related to building maintenance projects, the South China Morning Post reported, scoring a significant win in their battle against corruption and unfair competition.
Over the course of  Tuesday and Wednesday, authorities arrested 17 men and three women, ranging in age from 36 to 70. These individuals, allegedly key figures within a corruption syndicate, included contractors, consultants, middlemen, and members of property management firms.

“The joint operation conducted by the ICAC and the Competition Commission demonstrated the determination of the two agencies in cracking down on corruption and potential anticompetitive activities in building maintenance,” the South China Morning Post said. Raids on approximately 40 premises, including residences and offices linked to the suspects, yielded electronic devices and documents related to maintenance project work. The evidence collected will aid ongoing investigations into bid manipulation and inflated contract amounts.

The suspects stand accused of corrupt practices and anticompetitive behavior aimed at manipulating bidding processes to benefit associated contractors. Their actions, which if confirmed would be in violation of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and the Competition Ordinance, also included influencing project supervision and payment releases.

Despite facing resistance from some individuals who obstructed the investigation, authorities have stood firm in their intention to move forward with the case. Obstruction of the investigation is a punishable offense under Sections 52 and 54 of the Competition Ordinance.

Source: SCMP