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Barrier Gate security guard arrested for selling health codes

Mainland Chinese man charged nine travellers around RMB 400 each last summer; Health Bureau insists checking system not vulnerable.

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Mainland Chinese man charged nine travellers around RMB 400 each last summer; Health Bureau insists checking system not vulnerable.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:40 am

A mainland security guard working for a security company contracted by the Health Bureau (SSM) was arrested on Monday for selling his Macao and Guangdong health codes to nine people at the Barrier Gate checkpoint, after one of the buyers was arrested on Saturday, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokeswoman Lei Hon Nei has announced. 

Lei said the 31-year-old male suspect is surnamed Zhu. The other suspect, surnamed Wang, one of Zhu’s buyers, is a jobless female mainlander aged 55, who was overstaying in Macao.

According to Lei, the PJ received the case from the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) in July last year, after it was reported to the SSM by a mainlander attempting to enter Zhuhai through the Barrier Gate checkpoint. 

Lei said that the mainlander, who did not have the necessary health codes to pass through the checkpoint, was wandering around the checkpoint in May last year when Zhu approached, offering to sell his two health codes for RMB 400 (MOP 486). 

Lei pointed out that the mainlander accepted Zhu’s offer and Zhu sent his Macao Health Code and Guangdong Health Code from his phone. Lei underlined that the mainlander successfully entered Zhuhai, as Zhu was the security guard who checked that person’s health codes.

According to Lei, Wang was caught by the Public Security Police (PSP) on Saturday and confessed that she had also bought health codes from Zhu at the Barrier Gate. Lei said the Judiciary Police identified Zhu thanks to the information provided by Wang and apprehended Zhu when he was crossing the border from Zhuhai for work on Monday. 

Lei said that Zhu confessed to selling the health codes to people using the checkpoint, and admitted that he would actively ask people without health codes and provide his “services” if needed by generating his health codes and sending them to their phones.

Under further investigation, Lei underlined that the PJ discovered Zhu had earned around RMB 2,000 (MOP 2,432) through these “services” from May to June last year, when he sold his health codes to eight other people besides Wang.

Lei said Wang has been transferred to the MP, facing bribery and forgery charges, while Zhu faces further questioning. According to Lei, since Zhu was a worker hired by the Health Bureau, he was facing forgery and bribe-taking charges as if he were a civil servant. 

The SSM confirmed the case yesterday evening. The bureau said that the case was an isolated incident, and the main duty of the security guard was to remind people to show their health codes during immigration checks. The SSM said it has urged the contracted company to strengthen the training of its security guards. 

According to the SSM, the case was not related to the checking system’s vulnerability, but no information was provided as to how the nine travellers were able to cross the Barrier Gate checkpoint with Zhu’s help, The Macau Post Daily reported.    

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:40 am

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