IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF HONG KONG
HOLDEN AT VICTORIA
CASE NO. 205 OF 1976
|1. WONG Sik-kwong
|2. LI Wai-fat
|3. PONG Wai-hung
|4. WONG Chau-shing
|5. TSE Sin-cheung
|6. HUI Chi-keung
|7. WONG Kam-pui
|8. LEE Kam-kau
|9. LEUNG Shi-ki
|10. TSUI Sheung-tak
|11. CHEUNG Kin-shun
Coram: Judge Rhind in Court.
Date of Judgment: 7th April 1977
Mr. Whetter, counsel for the Crown.
Mr. Shuen & Miss Tam present.
I. Findings of Primary Fact
1. My findings of fact are as follows under the rest of this heading.
2. D8 is a civilian, whilst the other ten defendants are all police officers who were attached to the 6th, 7th or 8th Platoons of "B" Company of the Police Tactical Unit.
3. After undergoing some twelve to fifteen weeks of training between November or December 1975 and the end of February 1976 at the Police Training School at Fanling, the 6th, 7th and 8th Platoons were together posted as a unit at the beginning of March 1976 to take up duties on Hong Kong Island. Compendiously I will refer to that unit made up of those three platoons as "B" Company.
4. For comprehensive information on the organizational structure of "B" Company, reference can be made to the chart, Exh. P2, but for present purposes it might be helpful briefly to describe the structure of a platoon.
5. At the top of the platoon hierarchy are two inspectors. Below them are five sergeants, each in charge of a column.
6. The most senior of those sergeants is the Platoon Sergeant who is in charge of the Headquarters Column. In the Headquarters column are six police constables. One of those six constables is an orderly, three are drivers and the remaining two are lorry guards.
7. The remaining four sergeants are each in charge of a column made up of seven constables, one of whom is designated as Second-in-Command (2 i/c) of his column.
8. D7 was an inspector with the 7th Platoon. D9, D11 and D4 were Platoon Sergeants of the 6th, 7th and 8th Platoons respectively. D10, D3 and D2 were Column Sergeants in the 6th, 7th & 8th Platoons respectively. D5 was a 2 i/c of the First Column of the 8th Platoon. D6 was a police constable in the Second Column of the 8th Platoon. D4 was a lorry guard in the Headquarters Column of the 8th Platoon.
9. When posted to Hong Kong Island, one of the principal duties of a Police Tactical Unit Company is to police the Jockey Club's horse race meetings at Happy Valley. Another of their duties is to assist the various police Divisions on Hong Kong Island on Anti-Crime work which entails patrols and raids directed against vice establishments engaged in illicit gambling, drug or sex activities.
10. Some time in February 1976, PW2 (a Column Sergeant of the 8th Platoon); D2 (another Column Sergeant of the 8th Platoon) and D4 (the Platoon Sergeant of the 8th Platoon) got together in a class-room at the Fanling Camp. Possibly other personnel of "B" Co also attended that gathering. At that meeting PW2, D2 and D4 discussed together what were their prospects of making some corrupt money for themselves out of "B" Company's forthcoming posting to Hong Kong Island.
11. At that meeting PW2 indicated a willingness to take on the role of organizing the collection and distribution of corrupt monies for the benefit of himself and his colleagues in "B" Company. Those present at the meeting concurred in PW2's taking on this task.
12. D2 made it known at the meeting that he could arrange to put his colleagues in touch with a civilian who would be able to assist them with a scheme to get corrupt monies for themselves.
13. Prior to joining the Police Tactical Unit, D2 had encountered a civilian named Ah Ngau who had explained to D2 that he was involved in organizing a system of corrupt payments for the benefit of the Police Tactical Unit Company which was then stationed on Hong Kong Island, and when D2 announced that he was due to go for Police Tactical Unit training Ah Ngau indicated that he would be willing to set up a similar corrupt scheme for D2's Police Tactical Unit company when the time came for it to be posted to Hong Kong Island. (The prosecution alleged that D8 was this Ah Ngau but the evidence against D8 was insufficient to identify him as the Ah Ngau of the present case. However, that a certain individual known as Ah Ngau existed and that he played the role described in these findings of fact was established. Ah Ngau becomes a co-conspirator who falls into the category of the "other persons unknown" referred to in the particulars of the charges).
14. Thus D2 now arranged for PW2, D4, himself and possibly others to meet Ah Ngau. This next meeting took place a day or two after the Fanling class room meeting just described.
15. After meeting at the Australia Restaurant in Wanchai, PW2, D2, and D4 went on to the Sun Tung Lok Restaurant where they conferred with Ah Ngau on proposals for a corrupt scheme to benefit members of "B" Company. At that meeting Ah Ngau made it clear to those present that he could arrange for money to be made it clear to those present that he could arrange for money to be made available to the personnel of "B" Company from bribes collected from the operators of unlawful activities in the areas where "B" Company was to carry out its duties, and PW2, on the police side, was put forward as "B" Company's representative who would receive those monies from Ah Ngau and would then be responsible for organizing the distribution of the money among his police colleagues.
16. At a further meeting between PW2 and Ah Ngau final details of the corrupt scheme were worked out.
17. Next a meeting was called at the Soldiers and Sailors Restaurant in Wanchai at which PW2, D2, D4 and other officers of "B" Company of at least the rank of sergeant were present. I cannot pinpoint the date of that meeting more accurately than saying that it was towards the end of February and in any event before the passing-out parade on 27th February 1976. At that meeting PW2 announced to all those present the details of the corrupt scheme he and Ah Ngau had worked out together.
18. The proposed corrupt scheme was as follows. There were to be what were described as two "accounts". Firstly there was to be "a horse-racing account". Each platoon was to be paid $1,000 from funds furnished by Ah Ngau for each Saturday afternoon race meeting for which it was on duty. That $1,000 would be paid to the Platoon Sergeant who would be responsible for sharing it amongst the participating sergeants in his platoon. For his share a participating police officer was required to forbear from taking any action to interfere with the illegal book-makers operating at the race course. On the same basis $500 was available to each platoon whenever it was on night horse-racing duty.
19. Secondly there was to be a "weekly account" of $1,000 for each platoon in consideration of the participating sergeants refraining from disturbing the activities of the operators of drug, gambling and sex establishments in the areas where "B" Company might be called on to carry out its duties. Again it would be Ah Ngau who would attend to the collection of the necessary monies from those vice operators at source.
20. Everyone present at that meeting at the Soldiers and Sailors Restaurant (including D2 and D4) agreed that the schemes for these weekly and horse-racing "accounts" should go ahead.
21. From what they learnt at that gathering at the Soldiers and Sailors Restaurant, as well as from the preceding meeting they had had with PW2, Ah Ngau and possibly also with others, both D2 and D4 were fully conversant with the whole scheme described so far. They might be described as founder members.
22. D2 and D4 were both present at a gathering at the Mayflower Restaurant on 27th February 1976, convened for the purpose of introducing all the police officers then participating in the corrupt scheme to Ah Ngan. That was the day of "B" Company's passing-out parade, and they were due to take up their duties on Hong Kong Island the following week. At the Mayflower Ah Ngau paid PW2 $10,000 in D2's presence as an advance of the "weekly account". PW2 then paid D4 the sum of $800, being the 8th Platoon's allocation from the "weekly account" for the forthcoming week, that figure of $800 having been arrived at by PW2 deducting his own share of $200 as a sergeant of the 8th Platoon from the $1,000 entitlement of the platoon. That balance of $800 was available for D4 toshare among himself and the other sergeants of the 8th platoon, and he gave $200 or $250 to D2 and kept a similar amount for himself.
23. D4 continued to collect the "weekly account" from PW2, and share it in the same way till about May 1976. Likewise throughout the same period D4 collected the day and night horse racing "accounts" for the 8th Platoon from PW2, and shared out the money amongst himself and the other sergeants including D2 in similar fashion to the "weekly account".
24. Thus in a week when there was both day and night racing the sergeants of the 8th Platoon would be sharing some $2,500 from all the accounts.
25. D3 who was a Column Sergeant in the 7th Platoon received $150 whenever there was day horse racing and $100 for night racing out of the horse racing "account" monies PW2 furnished to the 7th Platoon. D3 also knew that the money he received was derived from illegal gambling operators at the race-course. I cannot be sure that D3 attended the gatherings at Soldiers and Sailors Restaurant and at the Mayflower to which "B" Company's sergeants were invited. There is only PW2's word...