Press Releases in Hong Kong

3 govt employees suspended over use of fake contact-tracing app

An officer monitors the body temperatures of visitors to the Immigration Tower, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, March 2, 2020. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)

HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's government has suspended the duty of three employees who were suspected of using a fake COVID-19 contact tracing app.

Two immigration officers and one audit officer have been prohibited from duty after they were arrested on suspicion of using a fake LeaveHomeSafe app at the Wan Chai Immigration Tower, the government said Tuesday.

ALSO READ: LeaveHomeSafe app required in govt venues from Nov 1

If any officer is found to be involved in any unlawful acts or misconduct, the Immigration Department will not tolerate it, and handle the matter seriously in accordance with the law and established procedures.

Spokesman, Immigration Department

They were among a total of five people arrested on Monday after Immigration Tower staff reported the cases to police.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Immigration Department said the two immigration officers concerned were denied entry on the scene on Monday and the incident was reported to the police immediately. 

"Two immigration officers were arrested on suspicion of using false instruments and they have been interdicted from duty and are currently under police investigation."

The spokesman stressed that the department attached great importance to staff conduct and would not tolerate illegal acts.

"If any officer is found to be involved in any unlawful acts or misconduct, the Immigration Department will not tolerate it, and handle the matter seriously in accordance with the law and established procedures."

READ MORE: Fake COVID-19 tracing websites, apps followed up

In a separate statement, a spokesman for the Audit Commission said it is deeply concerned about the arrest of an audit officer for the alleged use of the fake app.

The spokesperson added that "no illegal or irregular acts will be tolerated" and such acts "will be followed up in strict accordance with legislation and established procedures."