A member of Tai Po District Council and two officials from a Chinese dance association appeared in the Fanling Magistracy on Thursday after being charged by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) with conspiracy to steal government funds.

Wong Chau-pak, 61, a pro-Beijing DAB party district councillor; Yau Lai-kuen, 55, chair of the China Federation of National Dance Association (CFNDA); and Samketer Yeung Sau-fong, 54, secretary of the CFNDA were jointly charged on Tuesday with conspiracy to steal under the Theft Ordinance and the Crimes Ordinance.

The charge alleged that between July 2013 and January 2014 Wong, Yau and Yeung conspired with a Chinese ethnic dancing instructor to steal HK$1,840 in funds belonging to the Hong Kong Government.

Wong Chau-pak
Wong Chau-pak. File Photo: Stand News and Apple Daily.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge and the case was adjourned until December 16 this year for a pre-trial review. The defendants were granted cash bail of HK$2,000 each and were ordered not to interfere with prosecution witnesses.

A pressure group has also filed a complaint to the ICAC against Wong over an alleged conflict of interests in plans to redesign the “Tai Po Tiananmen Square” – a controversial new public plaza for tourists in Lam Tsuen.

Wong is running as a DAB candidate in the Fu Heng constituency in Tai Po. His opponent is Yam Man-chuen, a former Democratic Party member who lost to Wong by 54 votes in the 2011 election.

The district council elections take place every four years. The next election will take place on November 22 this year across the 18 district councils in Hong Kong.

Medhavi Arora is in her final year at the University of Hong Kong studying Journalism and International Relations. Her print, video and multimedia pieces have been featured in the Times of India and CNN-IBN. She is a former intern at UN Women and has additional experience in sustainability, international affairs and communications.