CCAC unveils case of alleged breach of duty of secrecy through conspiracy by company employees
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Commission Against Corruption
2022-11-24 15:09

The CCAC has detected a case involving a former senior management member of a company who allegedly conspired with his former subordinate staff to obtain documents containing trade secrets in order to facilitate him to compete for the same businesses of the company with lower prices through his newly established company after he has left the company.

The CCAC received the case referred by the Public Prosecutions Office and a report about bribery in the private sector at the same time and subsequently carried out an investigation. It was found that before his retirement, a former senior management member secretly prepared for the opening of a construction consultancy firm running the same business on the day after his last day of work and headhunted some workers of the company. He also revealed his willingness to charge lower than the prices charged by the company. As a result, he managed to win the businesses and construction contracts that the company was supposed to get. The company claimed that it had recorded a loss of over MOP1 million.

It was also found in the investigation that a secretary of the former senior management member involved knew well in advance that the latter would start his own business after leaving the aforesaid company. Nevertheless, she still followed his instructions and repeatedly provided him with some documents and information containing trade secrets of the company through a company email account and mobile phone applications. She also published recruitment advertisements for the new company in private. Her acts aimed to help the former senior management member to compete for businesses with the aforesaid company through means of unfair competition.

The CCAC believed that the conspiracy act committed by the two parties not only violated the inherent duties of employees at their work, but was also against the important values of business integrity. The two parties, as accomplices, allegedly violated the offences of breach of secrecy as stipulated in the Penal Code and illegal acquisition, use or provision of computer data as provided for in the Law on Combatting Computer Crimes. The case has been referred to the Public Prosecutions Office.