A veterinarian who headed the Veterinary Inspection and Control Division of the Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) was sentenced by the Court of First Instance (TPI) on Wednesday to four years behind bars for abuse of power and false income statements, Rádio Macau reported.
The report by the Portuguese-language radio channel of government-owned broadcaster TDM identified the defendant as Choi U Fai who was allegedly a “hidden” shareholder of a private animal clinic that won a government contract for the sterilisation of 500 greyhounds during the relocation process of the dogs from the now-defunct racetrack in Fai Chi Kei.
The defendant has been suspended from his IAM post since last year. His stood trial in the wake of an investigation by the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) triggered by a complaint in 2018 by Zoe Tang, a member of the local animal protection society ANIMA.
According to the Macau Post Daily, the trial involved Choi and three alleged accomplices, three of whom were sentenced to prison terms ranging between two and four years, while one was fined 216,000 patacas. The court said the prison terms were justified by the fact that the defendants’ conduct affected the image of the public administration.
According to the report, Choi’s lawyer Álvaro Rodrigues said after his client’s sentence had been announced that he would appeal to the Court of Second Instance (TSI). The lawyer of another defendant also said he would appeal the sentence.