privacy-icon CCAC unveils two public servants who allegedly involved in wage fraud by repeatedly exaggerating their illness and abusing their sick leave

Category: Anti-Corruption Work Release method: Press Releases

date-icon Release:2024/04/30

The CCAC successively unveiled two customs officers who allegedly exaggerated their illness for the excuse of lower back problems, making the doctors agree to issue medical certificates (commonly known as "sick leave certificates"). They were granted sick leave days of over 1,400 days and over 900 days respectively. Moreover, without the need to go to work, they were paid a wage of over MOP1.7 million and over MOP1.3 million respectively. The duo were suspected to have committed the "crime of fraud involving considerably high value" provided for in the Penal Code. The cases have been referred to the Public Prosecutions Office for handling.

In the first case, it was revealed that a former customs officer has been constantly seeking medical consultation due to a recurrence of lower back problem since 2016. Every time he consulted the doctor, he stated that he could not go to work due to lower back pain and was thus granted over 250 sick leave certificates, with sick leave days over 1,400 days. According to the findings of the CCAC's investigation, the former customs officer departed Macao almost every time on the day when he obtained the sick leave certificate. During the periods of sick leave, he travelled to and fro between Macao and the Chinese mainland frequently and it was believed that it was related to the business of a motor company run by him. Moreover, during the periods of sick leave, he had also organised trips to the Chinese mainland which involved long-haul flights, long-time driving and even hiking and the lifting of heavy objects. In another case, a serving customs officer has been seeking medical consultation for the reason of having pain in lower back and legs since 2018. During the consultation, he was mostly on crutches and told the doctors that he could not go to work for the reason of pain. As a result, he was granted over 160 sick leave certificates, with sick leave days over 900 days. The CCAC found in the investigation that on the days of seeking medical consultation and during the periods of sick leave, the customs officer always travelled in and out of Macao and even took a flight to Southeast Asia, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland to run his private businesses and other matters.

The CCAC talked to the doctors who issued sick leave certificates to the two customs officers and they all thought that the duo's activities during the periods of sick leave reflected that they might have intentionally exaggerated their illness during the medical consultation. The CCAC also found that the duo, for many times, were deemed by the Medical Inspection Committee to meet the conditions for return to work and they were assigned lighter tasks according to their physical conditions. However, they still repeatedly used the said excuses for absence from work and obtained sick leave fraudulently. The CCAC stresses that public servants shall understand and abide by the law and be strict to themselves and shall not abuse the sick leave system.