Several MTR Corp management-level staff – including a top executive in charge of mainland operations – have been sacked as the railway operator stand poised to begin cross-border operations.
The dismissals were immediate and all the people involved were escorted out of the Kowloon Bay premises by security guards.
The people were involved in the early sales of the MTRC’s property project Tiara in Shenzhen. They are believed to have been involved in an internal subscription for some of the property.
A management source said it is common practice for friends or family of developers to cash up in exchange for a discount on properties before they are put on sale.
She said this practice gives property companies some revenue at an early stage.
In response to The Standard’s inquiry, the MTRC did not deny that some staff were involved in corrupt dealings. It also did not deny the high-ranking layoffs.
Its spokeswoman said that due to privacy rules, she could not comment on colleagues.
An Independent Commission Against Corruption spokesman would not comment.
Tiara is the MTRC’s first property development in the mainland. It is connected to the Longsheng Station on the Longhua Line – about a 25-minute train ride from the Futian border post.
In July 2011, the Shenzhen municipal government invited bidders with experience in “rail plus property” development to bid for the development rights on a site along Shenzhen Metro Line 4, the Longhua Line.
The following month, MTRC, through two of its wholly owned subsidiaries – MTR Corporation (Shenzhen) Ltd and MTR Property (Shenzhen) Co – made a successful bid for the site.
The project offers a total gross floor area of 206,167 square meters. Upon completion, there will be 1,698 residential units and a shopping center of about 10,000 sqm.
During the first half of 2015, two batches of presales were launched for 708 Tiara residential units, with more than 99 percent of the units on offer taken up.