Four arrested at Hong Kong broadcaster

TVB general manager Stephen Chan among suspects

HONG KONG -- The general manager of Hong Kong's leading broadcaster and three other employees have been arrested by an antigraft body on suspicion of corruption, a station official said Friday, in a case that has shocked the territory's entertainment industry.

Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption said in a statement Thursday it had arrested four employees at a TV station and the director of an advertising production company in connection with corruption allegations.

Broadcaster TVB's deputy controller for external affairs, Tsang Shing-ming, identified the suspects Friday as TVB General Manager Stephen Chan, its head of business development, a TV producer, one of its signed artists, and the general manager's former personal assistant, a non-TVB employee.

The four TVB employees have been suspended, Tsang said.

Chan's arrest was especially shocking in Hong Kong because he is the most public face of TVB, appearing at station events and hosting his own interview show that draws the city's top celebrities.

Agnes Lam, an information officer at the antigraft body, declined to comment beyond the statement, but Tsang said the five suspects were still being held as of early Friday. He said they were not immediately charged.
The Ming Pao Daily News reported Friday the alleged corruption involves TVB executives steering business to companies that stage promotional activities at malls and hotels and offering TVB artists at discounted prices.
Tsang declined to comment on the report.

Founded by former movie mogul Run Run Shaw in 1967, TVB is a major producer of TV dramas and variety shows popular among Chinese speakers around the world.