The Judiciary Police (PJ) arrested three police officers on Saturday on suspicion of running an illegal entry and exit scheme for mainlanders barred from Macau or overstaying in the city.
PJ spokesman Choi Ian Fai announced details of the case during a special press conference on Monday.
The three Public Security Police (PSP) officers joined the force between 16 and 22 years ago, according to Choi.
Choi identified the suspects as surnamed Wong, who is in his forties, Chong and Ho, both in their thirties.
PSP Commissioner Leong Man Cheong said in a statement on Monday that Wong is a senior officer in the Macau Peninsula Police Department, while Chong and Ho are senior officers in the Immigration Department in Taipa.
According to Choi, the Judiciary Police received a “reliable” tip-off in June last year that a number of police officers received bribes and handed over confidential police information.
After investigating, the Judiciary Police found that three police officers received bribes in cash and other forms of benefits, and at least 53 times forged immigration records for people “active” on the fringes of the gaming industry, Choi said.
According to Choi, the suspects’ non-pecuniary bribes included free meals in restaurants and services in night entertainment venues
Choi said that the trio also illegally disclosed other people’s immigration records at least half a dozen times
The three police officers carried out these illegal activities on their office computers, according to Choi.
Choi said that the suspects smuggled at least five people, who had overstayed in Macau, out of the city in a car through border checkpoints, for which they were paid amounts ranging from HK$60,000 to HK$100,000, Choi said.
PJ officers carried out the arrests on Saturday. They arrested Chong at work. Wong was arrested in a restaurant in a casino-hotel resort in Cotai where he was having a meal with 11 men from the mainland and Taiwan, while Ho was arrested at a different location in Cotai, according to Choi.
Choi said PJ officers found a total of HK$390,000 on the three police officers, in their cars and at their homes, which PJ officers believed were some of the bribes they had received. PJ officers also seized the car they had used to take those who had overstayed in the city through the border checkpoints.
Choi said the three police officers would be transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) for possible arraignments on possible charges of organised crime membership, malfeasance, bribery and computer-related forgery.
Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak said in a statement yesterday that he was “shocked and saddened” that the police officers were found to have committed such crimes. Wong said he had also ordered the Public Security Police to review its system of internal supervision and discipline.
In a similar case, six PSP officers were sentenced to between 21 months and 15 years in prison early this month for a range of crimes such as offering blacklisted travellers illegal entries, stays and exits in Macau for bribes.