The Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) has confirmed that a company providing repair and maintenance services at the Macao checkpoint building of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) falsified the number of its local employees, in order to apply to hire more non-resident workers.
The anti-graft body said that the local residents who were fraudulently listed as the company’s employees had “unjustifiably” received the government’s Covid-19-support subsidy of MOP 15,000 last year.
CCAC officials discovered that the company – which has not so far been identified – had reported to the Financial Services Bureau (DSF) and the Social Security Fund (FSS) that it had employed 24 local residents, but they later discovered that six of them had “abnormal” entry and exit immigration records, which indicated that they “seldom” stayed in Macao during the period of payment due to the social security system; one of them never even returned to Macao after leaving the city in 2015.
Under questioning by CCAC officials, some of the local residents admitted that they had never worked for the company, while others admitted that they had never received any salaries from the company but were still paying their dues to the social security system merely for the purpose of receiving old-age pensions in the future.
CCAC officials concluded that the company did not really hire the six local residents but had falsely reported them as its employees. The anti-graft body is still investigating whether the remaining local residents were really employed by the company.
CCAC officials concluded that the company committed document forgery, and have transferred the case to the Public Prosecution Office for further investigation.
Additionally, every local “employee” of the company had received the government’s Covid-19-support subsidy of MOP 15,000 last year, so CCAC officials have passed their findings to the DSF.
The CCAC underlined that the local government has rolled out numerous support measures to relieve local residents’ financial hardship since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out early last year, warning that residents must report true information when applying for the government’s various subsidies and allowances, and urging them not to break the law by providing any false information.
The DSF told public broadcaster TDM that those found to have provided false information will have to return the subsidies they received to the government.
The FSS told TDM yesterday that if an employer is found to have paid dues to the social security system for those who have not really been hired, the fund will cancel and return the payments to the respective employers and employees.
The Labour Affairs Bureau told the public broadcaster that it will cancel some or all of the quotas to hire non-resident workers granted to an employer who is found to have breached rules defined by the law on the hiring of non-resident workers, The Macau Post Daily reported.