The corruption watchdog has revealed that a businessman is suspected of forging documents to support applications for permanent residency under the Investment Residency category.
According to the Commission against Corruption (CCAC), at least 11 Investment Residency applications were submitted to the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute.
The applicants all used shares in a company controlled by the businessman for investment, and submitted false documents to meet the conditions of the program.
CCAC’s investigation shows that the businessman, together with his subordinates and business partners, submitted false employee information to various government departments to misrepresent the company’s size and operating conditions.
The person involved in the case is suspected of committing the crime of forging documents and has been referred to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP).
As cited in a TDM Radio report, the CCAC confirmed that this occurrence was during the tenure of the former president of IPIM, Jackson Chang.
Chang was convicted last year of leaking confidential information concerning IPIM’s criteria in granting residence permits to investors or skilled professionals to another defendant.
The MP has previously lodged an appeal against the sentence acquitting Chang of bribery charges.
Despite him being exculpated from serious charges, in October 2020, the Court of First Instance (TJB) sentenced Chang to two years behind bars.
The move by the MP is intended to appeal against the TJB rulings, seeking to see the former president sentenced to more than two years.
More cases of employment corruption due to pandemic
The Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) has handled several cases of corruption in the private sector in which active or passive bribery was used to secure employment, renewal of contracts or promotions.
The watchdog noted an increase in corruption cases related to hiring last year, adding that these cases mainly occurred in gaming, security and construction companies, according to its 2020 annual report submitted to the Chief Executive.
The suspects included local and mainland Chinese workers, as well as non-resident workers from other Southeast Asian countries. In addition, of the 18 cases referred to the Public Prosecutions Office, eight involved fraud over public funds or document forgery related to fraud.
In 2020, the CCAC received a total of 479 complaints and reports. Together with the cases investigated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Ombudsman Bureau and those filed for investigation by judicial bodies later referred to CCAC, there were a total of 491 cases.
Of these, 105 cases were referred to the Anti-Corruption Bureau for follow-up and 282 cases were referred to the Ombudsman Bureau, the corruption watchdog noted.
100 cases failed to meet the conditions for being filed for investigation and were thus archived directly – either due to a lack of clarity about the facts, or to inadequate information. Also, four cases were referred to other departments, as they substantially fell within their jurisdictions.
The CCAC pointed out that the proportion of anonymous complaints and reports received last year was less than that in the past, accounting for only 34% of all complaints and reports, down more than 20% compared to 54.6% in 2019. LV