Former IAM official sentenced to four years for abuse of power

The former head of the Municipal Affairs Bureau’s (IAM) Division of Inspection and Veterinary Control, Choi U Fai, was sentenced to four years in prison for abuse of power and for providing false income statements.

The Court of First Instance (TJB) sentenced the former official to two years and three months for a crime of continuous abuse of power, one year and six months for a crime of simple abuse of power, and one year and six months for misrepresentation of income.

The TJB ruled a single sentence of four years in prison, TDM Radio reported.

The TJB noted that he was sentenced for having the “intention of making a profit for himself or another, by taking advantage of his power, violating his duties,” which constitutes an abuse of power.

Without the approval of the bureau, the division head assigned his subordinates to lend government-owned medical equipment to the clinic.

The court also found that Choi “did not even declare his assets that were required to be declared” for tax purposes

Choi was found guilty of abusing his power in the aftermath of the Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome’s closure by directing the placement of greyhounds to an animal clinic in which he secretly held a stake.

The suspect was allegedly a “hidden” shareholder of a private vet clinic that won a government contract to provide medical care for and perform neutering surgery on over 500 greyhounds.

The case was exposed by the Commission Against Corruption after it received a complaint from Zoe Tang, the former employee of Anima Macau, alleging that some public servants had mishandled the subsequent placing of the greyhounds.

Choi was a long-time advocate for the Canidrome’s closure, disclosing to the press as early as in 2012 that dozens of greyhounds were being killed each month.

A total of four defendants were sentenced – three with actual imprisonment, with sentences ranging from two to four years. One was fined with a total of 216,000 patacas.

The TJB said that the defendants’ conduct had damaged the image of the civil service. LV

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