The former director of Macao’s Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) has been remanded in custody, the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) said in a statement this afternoon.
The statement came after the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) released a report accusing the ex-director of taking bribes, money laundering and forging documents.
Though the suspect was not identified in either statement, public broadcaster TDM and other local media outlets have meanwhile identified him as Li Canfeng who headed the bureau between 2014 and 2020.
The statement said that Li allegedly received huge bribes from businesspeople and through a relative for illicitly approving a raft of construction permits, one of which involved an expired street alignment plan so that a construction project could nevertheless go ahead.
According to the statement, the suspect also helped a relative obtain a residency permit from the government’s Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) through a fake investment in a local company with the help of a businessperson.
The suspect also allegedly received huge bribes from another businessperson “in return for bypassing the statutory procedures and speeding up the inspection and acceptance of the relevant construction works.” Due to the illegality, the respective licence was granted “just before the expiry of the land use period,” the statement said.
The suspect also allegedly told his subordinates to give their favourable assessment of a land development project “so that the developer was awarded the land concession and subsequently made a massive profit by selling it at a high price.”
The MP statement said that the CCAC had recently transferred eight suspects to the Public Prosecutions Office for follow-up investigation.
The office’s preliminary investigation has shown strong circumstantial evidence of four kinds of crime involving the eight suspects, namely taking bribes in order to commit a crime, punishable by up to eight years’ imprisonment; giving bribes, punishable by up to three years in prison; money laundering, punishable by up to eight years behind bars; document forgery, punishable by up to eight years’ imprisonment.
The MP statement said that after interrogating the eight suspects, and due to the seriousness of the alleged crimes, three of them have been remanded in custody, while the other suspects have been released on their own recognisance.
Among other things, they are barred from leaving Macao and contacting the other suspects.
The CCAC investigation into the alleged cases was “fully supported” by the police in the Chinese mainland and the local Judiciary Police (PJ).
“The former managed to intercept” the suspect, “who had fled to and settled in the Chinese mainland, and handed him over to the CCAC for investigation through the latter.”