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Hong Kong anti-corruption watchdog charges ex gov't secretary with fraud

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's anti-corruption watchdog charged a former government secretary with fraud Wednesday over a housing scandal that erupted days after he was appointed by the city's new leader.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption said that former Secretary for Development Mak Chai-Kwong and another official, the assistant director of the Highways Department, Tsang King-man, face a joint charge of conspiracy to defraud the government of HK$700,000 (US$90,000).

The two are alleged to have abused a civil servant housing allowance by hiding the fact that they owned the apartments they rented to each other to claim the payments from 1985 to 1990. They also face five other bribery-related charges.

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