A court has issued arrest warrants for two buying managers and a toy supplier who are wanted by Hong Kong’s anti-graft body for allegedly accepting and offering bribes totalling over US$900,000 (over HK$7 million).

Tesco. File photo: Simon Hayrack, via Flickr.

Zsolt Gergely Kovacs, 46, and Ladislav Gajdos, 43, were buying managers for supermarket chain Tesco in the UK and its local subsidiaries. They are wanted by the Independent Commission Against Corruption for one count of “conspiracy for an agent to accept advantages,” with the alleged offences taking place between June 2010 and January 2020.

In 2011, Kovacs and Gajdos allegedly convinced sourcing manager Pang Chun-kin to elicit rebates from Chen Jinqun, operator of Handwin Toys Industrial Co., Limited (Handwin). 57-year-old Chen faces three charges relating to bribery, whilst Gajdos is accused of corrupt dealings that began in mid-2021.

The ICAC says that Kovacs and Gajdos conspired with sourcing manager Pang to receive illegal rebates totalling over US$708,000 (over HK$5.5 million) from Chen. Meanwhile, Chen allegedly conspired with Kovacs, Gajdos and Pang to offer illegal rebates to the trio, whilst Chen is accused of offering two loans totalling US$200,000 (about HK$1.56 million) to Pang.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption. File photo: Selina Cheng/HKFP.

In all, toy orders worth over US$26 million (over HK$205 million) were placed with Handwin between 2011 and 2018.

Pang was jailed for three years in July 2021 after pleading guilty. Chen, Kovacs and Gajdos, meanwhile, are thought to be outside Hong Kong.

Tesco and its subsidiaries are cooperating in the case.

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Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.