> SCMP > Police acton missing papers in rail scandal

Police acton missing papers in rail scandal

Documents removed and computer records examined during Hung Hom station search

Police have investigated the troubled Hung Hom station two days in a row under a search warrant after receiving

another government report over problems with the city’s costliest rail project.

Officers were yesterday seen leaving the station with piles of documents while experts were on the scene to

examine computer records. Police received the Highways Department report on the eve of Lunar New Year.

“With the search warrant issued by the court, we collected a lot of papers and will read through them to

investigate the allegation of missing inspection documents,” a police source said.

“Officers from the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau were also there to look at digital footprints.”

The scandal deepened after it emerged the main contractor had failed to submit more than 60 per cent of

inspection papers for work on Hung Hom station, one of the stops along the HK$97.1 billion Sha Tin-Central link.

After the three-day holiday, police went to the office tower of the station to collect evidence on Friday night,

and spent another eight hours there yesterday.

A spokesman said the case was being handled by the regional crime unit of West Kowloon and no one had been


The rail link construction has been embroiled in controversy since allegations surfaced last May that workers had

shortened reinforcement steel bars to cut corners. Transport officials had also called in police to investigate

that case.

Separately, lawmakers urged authorities to fix management and governance problems at the MTR Corporation, the

city’s rail giant and operator of the link.

On a radio programme yesterday, architectural sector lawmaker Tony Tse Wai-chuen said the MTR Corp was

“bankrupt” in its responsibility as a regulator of its infrastructure projects.

“The whole system of the MTR Corp has to be reviewed, particularly regarding the role of the board of directors,”

he said, adding that part of the board was appointed by the government, a majority shareholder of the firm.

On the same show, Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan urged her pro-establishment colleagues to back her motion to

invoke the Legislative Council’s special powers to investigate the case.

But engineering sector lawmaker Lo Wai-kwok dismissed her call, saying it was better to leave the job to the

commission of inquiry led by former judge Michael Hartmann.