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Sixteen members of a medical team charged with
Sixteen members of a medical team, recruited by the Health Bureau to hold office at the Cotai Checkpoint, are suspected of having committed the crime of document forgery and fraud. These individuals were believed to have taken advantage of an existing deficiency in the procedure for registration of attendance, in order to obtain, for an extended period of time, improper remuneration. In addition, the chief of that medical team, responsible for its management, is supposed to have concealed the acts of fraud committed by its members. He is suspected of the crimes of power abuse, document forgery and fraud. The case was referred yesterday to the Public Prosecutions Office by the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC).
The main functions of the medical staff of Health Bureau at the Cotai Checkpoint are to measure the body temperature of individuals who entered the Macao SAR and the provision of medical information.
After comparative analysis of a large amount of data, including schedules of duty rosters, time sheets and registration of the payment of wages, the CCAC detected that during the period from the reopening of the Cotai Checkpoint in April 2007 and the cessation of the medical operation of measuring body temperature at the borders in June 2011, the 16 individuals referred to above were absent from the territory several times without permission from the supervisor during the period that they were subjected to the duty roster system.
They are also supposed to have left the territory for a whole month without having fulfilled the duty rosters, taking advantage of a deficiency in the procedures of the Health Bureau which only required the signatures of staff for the calculation of the payment based upon the registration system. In order to conceal their acts, the defendants allegedly signed the time sheets a priori or a posteriori, as if they had fulfilled their job according to the duty rosters, in order to receive the corresponding remuneration. One of the defendants allegedly falsified the time sheets up to 181 times. The 16 defendants have allegedly committed the crimes of forgery and fraud according to the Penal Code.
Falsifying the records
Following the investigation and the gathering of evidence, it was found that one of the accused, surnamed Ngan, responsible for the medical team at the Cotai Checkpoint, also had the responsibility of ensuring control and monitoring of attendance. Although aware that members of that medical staff were constantly and repeatedly falsifying the records of attendance, he never highlighted the situation to a superior nor adopted any measures, thus it is suspected that he covered for the staff members, in their acts of illegally receiving remuneration. The same defendant, surnamed Ngan, is thus supposed to have violated his duties and committed the crimes of power abuse, document forgery and fraud according to the Criminal Code.
During the research phase, some of the accused confessed to have committed these acts and to have cheated the Government of MSAR. The defendants allegedly committed the crimes over more than four years. The fraud involved is estimated to be more than MOP 200,000. The CCAC will continue the course of the investigation to ascertain whether or not other civil servants suspected of acts of concealment are involved. The CCAC has also reported the case to the Directorate of the Health Bureau, requesting the relevant departments to respond appropriately to the case and to strengthen internal management systems to avoid similar situations in the future.
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