The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has brought charges against 19 laboratory staff for allegedly faking concrete test results for the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge construction project, Apple Daily reports.
The 19 employees from Jacobs China Ltd. face charges of conspiracy to defraud and using false instruments. None were from the management.
They were released on bail and will undergo trial on Friday in Tuen Mun magistrates’ court.
Among those arrested, 18 were held for fraud. They are aged between 22 and 65, including a senior site laboratory technician, 13 technicians and five assistants, who were responsible for conducting construction material compliance tests, including concrete compression tests.
They had all been working at the Siu Ho Wan Public Works Regional Laboratory, which was set up by the department in late 2012 to meet the increased demand for compression tests on concrete samples for the bridge project.
Eighteen of them face a joint charge of conspiracy to defraud after they allegedly changed the time of the computers or replaced the original concrete sample cubes to falsify the tests.
The last arrestee is a 61-year old former site laboratory technician who faces two charges of using false instruments.
He was accused of using a fake record slip or worksheet to record the result of compression tests between September 2012 and June 2015 while hoping people would think they are real.
The ICAC also arrested two of Jacobs China Ltd.’s senior employees but have yet to prosecute them.
It said it did not find any government officials involved in the case but are still investigating.
Contractors involved in providing materials said that all compression tests should be signed off by an engineer, but the bridge samples were only monitored by the laboratory technicians.
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