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Hong Kong to Investigate Gifts to Officials Sent by Evergrande

Stand News says hampers were worth HK$3,338 although officials cannot receive any gift which costs more than HK$3,000

The company logo is seen on the China Evergrande head office in Shenzhen. Photo: Reuters


Hong Kong authorities would investigate holiday hampers sent to senior immigration officers by an Evergrande executive, the government said on Wednesday.

Andrew Huang, a senior executive at the beleaguered Chinese developer, sent gift hampers containing abalone to deputy director of immigration Benson Kwok and principal immigration officer Jacky Wong Ki before the Mid-autumn Festival this year.

Chris Tang, security secretary, said authorities would look into the matter.

The Immigration Department said the two officers had informed the director of immigration after they received a media enquiry about the hampers on December 5.

The incidents were first reported on Tuesday by Stand News, a Chinese-language media outlet that has been frequently critical of the Hong Kong and Chinese governments.

Stand News said the hampers were worth HK$3,338 each. Under the law, officials cannot receive any gift which costs more than HK$3,000.

However, the hotel that sold the hampers said that with “early bird discounts” the HK$3,000 limit would not have been breached.

The government acknowledged the gifts were never reported.

“Since there were no dealings in their official capacities, and the value of the gifts did not exceed relevant regulations, the concerned officers did not make any declaration,” the government said.

Regina Ip, a former security secretary, told Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper the Immigration Department and Evergrande should “have no official business dealings” and “no gifts should be received at all”.


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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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