Wed, Nov 14, 2007 - Page 5 News List

McDonald's director charged with accepting bribes

KICKBACKS Lau Si-sing was accused of taking money from a Thai food company in return for ordering corn for restaurants in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan

AP , HONG KONG

The managing director of the McDonald's restaurant chain in Hong Kong appeared in court yesterday, charged with taking bribes from a Thai-based food supplier.

Lau Si-sing, 47, faced two counts of accepting kickbacks from the company and one count of attempting to pervert the course of justice, according to court documents. Lau was released on HK$500,000 (US$64,000) bail and ordered to appear before the court again on Jan. 8, the documents said.

Between May 2005 and this April, Lau allegedly conspired with the director of the Thai food company, receiving kickbacks in return for placing orders of corn for McDonald's restaurants in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, Hong Kong's International Commission Against Corruption had said.

Lau allegedly received about 10 percent of the order price in gifts, loans, cash and other incentives, it said, without providing details.

Lau is also charged with asking the food director on June 29 to tell law enforcement officials that the alleged bribes were for a joint property venture in China, the commission's statement said.

The first McDonald's in Hong Kong opened in 1975. Now there are more than 200 of the fast food restaurants employing more than 10,000 people.

The anti-corruption commission said McDonald's management was cooperating fully with their investigations.

In a statement, McDonald's said it "does not condone illegal practices by anyone connected with the company."

It said Lau had been suspended without pay, pending the outcome of any trial.

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