Restraining Order granted under S.14C Prevention of Bribery Ordinance against wife's $1.9 million share in landed property - applicability of the statutory presumption in S.10(2) - discharge of restraining order under statute and inherent jurisdiction - sufficiency of evidence in support of restraining order.
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF HONG KONG
HOLDEN AT VICTORIA
Miscellaneous Proceedings No. 115 of 1977
IN THE MATTER of Section 14C of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, Cap. 201
IN THE MATTER of an ex-parte application for a Restraining Order
Coram: Judge Liu, Q.C. in Court.
Date of Judgment: 18 October 1970
1. In 1977, one TANG Wan was under investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The result of the then enquiry revealed that Mr. Tang and his wife were absent from Hong Kong. It is not in dispute that the evidence led on behalf of the Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption does establish that 19/30ths of the purchase price of a property known as "Little Stone Manor" and now registered in the name of the applicant company, Messrs. Yee Po Land Development Co. Ltd., is traceable to two bank deposits of Mrs. Tang.
2. Mr. Tang joined the Hong Kong police as a constable in 1946 at the age of 24, being single and unemployed, and in 1950 he married Mrs. Tang, then a 22 years old student. Having reached the rank of Inspector, Mr. Tang retired in May 1974. These bank deposits of Mrs. Tang's were slightly over $1.9 million of which $1.9 million became part consideration for the acquisition of the property now in the name of the applicant company. The managing director of the applicant company, one MAN Cheuk-bun, had played a significant role in the disposal of Mrs. Tang's bank deposits, and he was convicted of making a false statement in respect thereof contrary to Section 32 of the Crimes Ordinance. The circumstances are not entirely free from suspicion.
3. Section 14C(1)(b) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance reads as follows:-
"If, on application ex parte by or on behalf of the Commissioner, the Court is satisfied that a third party is holding any property for or on behalf of or to the order of a suspected person the Court may make an order under this subsection (hereinafter so referred to as a 'restraining order')".
4. On the 25th May, 1977, pursuant to Section 14C of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, the Commissioner sought and obtained a restraining order in respect to the said property to the extent of Mrs. Tang's $1.9 million, being 19/30ths of its purchase price of $30 million. Proceedings have been instituted against Mr. Tang under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, and thereupon the restraining order continued in force. The restraining order has been served on the applicant company which now applies for the same to be revoked.
5. It was contended by the Commissioner that the right to a revocation of a restraining order was limited in scope and that a revocation could be justified only by alleged undue...