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ICAC arrests 20 over vehicle testing

2024-06-14 HKT 14:11
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  • ICAC arrests 20 over vehicle testing
The ICAC has arrested 20 people in connection with an alleged vehicle-testing scam.

The anti-graft body accused staff of a designated private testing centre of accepting advantages from garage proprietors or middlemen, and helping private cars that did not meet the required standards to pass the exhaust emission test.

Among those arrested were staff of a designated testing centre, owners of three garages in the New Territories, middlemen as well as contract workers of the Transport Department.

Ten private cars were also seized in the operation.

Under the Transport Department’s requirements, all private cars manufactured for over six years must undergo an annual examination at designated test centres in order to renew their vehicle licences.

“The genuine fee for the examination is HK$585. What was happening was that the owners were paying a one-stop shop price for all the service. That was between HK$2,000 and HK$3,000,” said ICAC principal investigator David Williams.

“So the difference between those two prices is the benefits that were made for both parties in either the garage owner would get business from the customers or the testing centre staff would be receiving some of that in bribery money.”

Williams said staff at the testing centre substituted the results of cars that they knew would fail with those that had already passed.

The ICAC said about 20 cars were referred by the garages to pass the examination fraudulently every month, and it's still trying to find out how long the syndicate has been in operation.

Officers did not rule out the possibility of further arrests.

In response, the Transport Department said it was very concerned about the incident and would cooperate with the ICAC in the investigation.

The department said vehicle testing at the centre has been suspended.

It said it would strengthen the management and supervision of vehicle testing centres as advised by the ICAC.

ICAC arrests 20 over vehicle testing