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Saturday, Jul 20, 2024

Three former Cathay workers charged for accepting bribes to help others buy discounted tickets

A former Cathay Pacific flight purser will become a witness for the prosecution and testify against two former colleagues after the three were charged for accepting about HK$98,000 in bribes to help others buy discounted air tickets for 75 flights using their employee benefits.
The three defendants were former purser Lau Ching-man, 35, and former flight attendants Lee Chung-fai, 27, and Wong Oi-ting, 32.

Appearing before judge Anthony Kwok Kai-on in District Court today (Thu), Lau pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy for an agent to accept advantage, with the first count of the charge left in court files.

Lee and Wong both pleaded not guilty to one count of the charge they each faced.

The first two charges allege Lau of accepting about US$2,600 (~HK$20,000) and US$1,500 (~HK$12,000) from a woman called Trang Nha Le Do and nominating the woman as her travel companion under Cathay's Companion Travel Scheme between January 2018 and February 2019.

Under the scheme, Le Do bought 20 sets of air tickets for less than HK$20,000, a huge discount of about HK$329,000 compared to the original prices.

The remaining two charges allege that Lee accepted US$5,000 (~HK$39,000) from Mare Alexandre Dambrines, another friend of Le Do introduced by Lau, while Wong got US$3,500 (~HK$27,000) from Mariah Adams Ernst, another friend referred under the same circumstances, for the use of their companion quotas.

Dambrines and Ernst then bought 23 and six sets of discounted air tickets and benefited from a price discount of HK$412,000 and HK$113,000, respectively.

Lau was arrested at the end of August 2019, and the court heard that Cathay lost some HK$860,000 due to their crimes.

As Lau entered a guilty plea, she also became a witness for the prosecution and will turn against Lee and Wong in court.

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