Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong is said to have launched a probe into the alleged improper conduct of some people who traveled to the Chinese capital last week to participate in an economic event.
Following reports that some members of China-Australia Legal Exchange Foundation, a pro-Beijing group in Hong Kong, were caught cavorting with scantily-clad hostesses in a Karaoke bar in Beijing, central government representatives are taking the matter seriously, according to Ming Pao Daily.
Wang Zhenmin, who heads the legal department in the liaison office, is believed to be particularly upset about the scandal as he had been a consultant for the 37-member delegation.
Staff from the office are interviewing the delegation members to determine if some people engaged in inappropriate social activities during the trip, which was aimed at exchange of ideas on China’s so-called belt and road economic initiative.
The liason office’s scrutiny comes after some members of the China-Australia Legal Exchange Foundation submitted their resignations due to the scandal.
Damien Shea, a solicitor who serves on China’s highest political consultative body, and Raymond Yung, a senior assistant commissioner of Hong Kong Road Safety Patrol, resigned Monday from the foundation following reports that they patronized a Karaoke bar three nights in a row in Beijing.
Photos acquired by Ming Pao showed the duo behaving intimately with scantily-clad hostesses.
Maria Tam, a Hong Kong deputy to China’s legislature and an honorary consultant to the foundation, also resigned after the scandal came to light.
According to Ming Pao, some solicitors who were part of the delegation have confessed to the liaison office that they participated in a night binge in Beijing.
Stephen Hung, president of the Law Society of Hong Kong, told the Hong Kong Economic Journal that his group will punish any member whose behavior brings disrepute to the professional body.
Hong Kong Road Safety Patrol said Monday that Shea, who acted as deputy chief of its promotion and propaganda department, and Yung were suspended from their posts in the volunteer organization, and that the group is conducting its own investigation.
Ming Pao quoted sources as saying that those who enjoyed themselves at the Karaoke joint also included some senior police officers with a rank as high as chief inspector.
They officers were said to be members of an exchange group jointly organized by the Hong Kong police and the Chinese Academy of Governance.
The members were reportedly acquainted with both Shea and Yung.
A police spokesman said all of its staff are required to be on good behavior regardless of whether they are on duty or not.
The reported incident in Beijing is being looked into, the spokesman said, adding that the matter will be dealt with fairly.
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