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McDonald’s Hong Kong boss quilty of taking kickbacks

Posted on: April 19, 2009


AFP – Friday, April 17

HONG KONG (AFP) – – The former Hong Kong managing director of fast food giant McDonald’s was convicted of taking 320,000 US dollars in kickbacks from a supplier, the city’s anti-corruption body said.

Lau Si-sing was found guilty of taking 2.5 million Hong Kong dollars in bribes from a corn supplier, whom he also asked to lie to investigators, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) said.

Lau asked the Thai company, named by the South China Morning Post as Siam Ready, to pay rebates equivalent to 10 percent of the sales of corn supplied to McDonald’s.

The ICAC said the supplier agreed to the payment as he believed that this was how McDonald’s did business. Lau gave the firm the contract to supply McDonald’s with corn in June 2005.

Over the next two years the money was paid into the bank account of Lau or his wife as McDonald’s purchased more than 25 million Hong Kong dollars of goods from the Thai firm, the court heard.

Lau was found guilty Wednesday on two counts of conspiracy. The case has been adjourned until May 6 for sentencing.

Liam Jeory, McDonald’s corporate relations vice president, welcomed the verdict and said Lau’s employment with McDonald’s had been terminated.

“McDonald’s does not tolerate criminal wrongdoing, or breaches of its code of conduct for employees,” he said in a statement.

McDonald’s has more than 200 outlets in Hong Kong.

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