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Hong Kong Jails Visa Applicant For Bribery Attempt

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

20 February 2014

A company director from mainland China has been jailed for a year in Hong Kong after attempting to bribe an official. The woman was applying for an employment visa under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals.

The employment visa is offered to mainlanders with skills and knowledge not readily available, or in short supply in Hong Kong. The woman had asked an immigration official whether she should include HKD6,000 (USD775) in her application, and was told that she should pay only the fee of HKD160 (USD21). Despite this, the next day she sent a letter asking for urgent processing and enclosing a check for HKD6,000. The payee's name on the check was left blank.

The immigration official who received the letter referred the matter to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), and arranged for a meeting with the woman where she confirmed that the cheque was to be given to officials to expedite her application.

The ICAC then brought the case against her. The sentencing magistrate said that corruption cases were very serious, and that the sentence had to be a deterrent.

The ICAC was founded in 1974, and the body says that Hong Kong has since "become one of the cleanest places in the world." It says that it takes a three-pronged approach against corruption, comprising law enforcement, prevention, and education.

TAGS: Hong Kong | Expats | Visas and Passports

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