Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) president Jackson Cheong is under criminal investigation and has been suspended from office, the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) said in a statement today.
The CCAC – Macau’s graft-busting agency – also said that an unnamed IPIM executive board member and a former deputy director of the institute’s Legal and Residency Office and current head of a department of the Pension Fund have been also suspended.
IPIM is a government-owned entity.
The CCAC statement did not name the suspects but government-owned broadcaster TDM identified Jackson Cheong as the main suspect and Glória Ung as the IPIM executive board member.
Glória Ung is also a Deputy-Secretary General of Forum Macau.
The suspects are not allowed to leave Macau, the graft buster said.
According to the CCAC statement, the suspects are under investigation over alleged crimes concerning the vetting and approval of applications for the granting of investment residency rights, such as property investments.
Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac said today that he would launch disciplinary proceedings following the CCAC’s investigation into the alleged crimes by the three IPIM staff members.
In the statement, Leong said he “deeply” regretted the case, adding that he “attaches great importance to the matter” and that his office “has cooperated fully with the CCAC.”
In a separate statement today, Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On said that he supported the investigation, adding that the government maintained its “zero tolerance” policy towards wrongdoing committed by public servants.
A statement from the Government Spokesperson’s Office noted that Chui has ordered Leong to submit a report on the case and to prepare amendments to the investment residency-related regulations.
The policy secretary pledged to deliver the report “as soon as possible” and also promised “zero tolerance” towards wrondoing by public servants.