Aug 28, 2011 Editorial
We continue with the advice of Mr Tony KWOK Man-wai, Former Head of Operations of the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC): He advises that investigating corruption can broadly be divided into two categories: investigating past corruption offences and investigating current corruption offences
Investigating Past Offences: The investigation normally commences with a report of corruption and the normal criminal investigation technique should apply. Much will depend on the information provided by the informant and from there, the case should be developed to obtain direct, corroborative and circumstantial evidence. The success of such investigation relies on the meticulous approach taken by the investigators to ensure that ‘no stone is left unturned’. Areas of investigation could include detailed checking of the related bank accounts and company ledgers, obtaining information from various sources to corroborate any meetings or corrupt transaction etc. When there is a reasonable suspicion to act upon, the suspects’ home and office should be searched for further evidence and all related parties should be properly interviewed.
Investigating Current Corruption Offences: Such investigation will enable greater scope for ingenuity. Apart from the conventional methods mentioned above, a proactive strategy should always be preferred, with a view to catch the corrupt red-handed. Surveillance and telephone intercept should be mounted on the suspects and suspicious meetings monitored. A co-operative party can be deployed to set up meeting with a view to trap the suspects. Undercover operation can also be considered to infiltrate into a corruption syndicate. The prerequisite to all these proactive investigation methods are professional training, adequate operational support and a comprehensive supervisory system to ensure that they are effective and in compliance with the rule of evidence.
One unique feature of corruption investigation is that the investigators must not be contended with obtaining evidence against one single offender. Corruption is always linked and can be syndicated. Every effort should be explored to ascertain if the individual offender is prepared to implicate other accomplices or the mastermind behind. In Hong Kong, there is judicial directive to allow a reduction of two-thirds of the sentence of those corrupt offenders who are prepared to provide full information to ICAC and to give evidence against the accomplices in court. The ICAC provides special facilities to enable such “resident informants” to be detained in ICAC premises for the purpose of de-briefing and protection.
Investigative Support: Apart from the core investigation units, there should be strong operational support units, and the following are essential for the reasons given:
1. Intelligence Section as a central point to collect, collate, analyze and disseminate all intelligence and investigation data, otherwise there may be major breakdown in communication and operations
2. Surveillance Section, a very important source of evidence and intelligence. In the Hong Kong ICAC, we have a dedicated surveillance unit of over 120 surveillance agents and they have made significant contribution to the success of a number of major cases
3. Technical Services Section provide essential technical support to surveillance and operations
4. Information Technology Section. It is important that all investigation data should be managed by computer at the start, or extra resources would be required for future computerization, which is a matter of time. In this modern age, most personal and company data are stored in computers and ICAC must possess the ability to break into these computers seized during searches to examine their stored data. Computer forensic is regarded as vital for all law enforcement agencies worldwide these days.
Financial Investigation Section: The corruption investigations these days often involve sophisticated money trail of proceeds of corruption, which go through a web of off-shore companies and accounts, funds etc. It is necessary to employ professionally qualified investigative accountants to assist in such investigation and in presenting such evidence in court.
Witness Protection Section: ICAC has experienced cases where crucial witnesses were compromised, with one even murdered, before giving evidence. There should be a comprehensive system to protect crucial witnesses, including 24 hours armed protection, safe housing, new identity and overseas relocation. Some of these measures require legislative backing.
Dec 05, 2020ESPNcricinfo – The first ODI between South Africa and England in Cape Town has been called off, less than an hour before the toss. As reported by ESPNcricinfo, the postponement related to a...
Dec 05, 2020
Dec 05, 2020
Dec 05, 2020
Dec 05, 2020
Dec 04, 2020
Kaieteur News – Yesterday, I described the collective mind of 60 persons who signed a letter in the newspaper demanding... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – Human rights and constitutional violations in Haiti have been ignored for too... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]