Economic Services to have criminal investigation power removed

Friday, February 22, 2008
Issue 261, Page 4
Word count: 350
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The bill, which proposed the abolishment of the criminal investigation competency and status of the Macao Economic Services (DSE), had its discussion completed and will now be sent to the Legislative Assembly for review, spokesperson of the Executive Council announced yesterday.

Speaking in the press conference held at the government headquarters, spokesperson Tong Chi Kin said Article 28 of the 27/99M law decree titled “The Macao Economic Services Organisation Act” states that director and deputy director of DSE and chief of the Economic Activity Investigation Department (DIAE) were entitled to the identity of a criminal police authority as well as the criminal investigation competency.

As well, all inspectors of DIAE were given the same authorisation so that they could assist the judiciary bureau with criminal activities such as intellectual property infringement, and offences of obstructing public health and economy.

After the handover in 1999, however, Mr Tong said the SAR policy was inclined to concentrate the competency of criminal investigation on the Judiciary Police and Customs.

As a result, the original criminal police status and complementary authorisation entitled to the DSE needed to be abolished.

Mr Tong said the Chief Executive re-structured DSE in 2003 and at the same time replaced the 27/99M law decree by introducing the 15/2003 Administration Regulation – “Macao Economic Services Organisation and Operation”.

However, the right to abolish Article 28 of the law decree regarding criminal police authority only belonged to the Legislative Assembly, which was a rule Mr Tong admitted that the government had not considered in 2003.

Therefore, he said the bill was proposed to officially put an end to the article and to record the power transfer “on legal papers”.

The spokesperson added that the proposed change would not affect the present executive work of DSE officers, because DSE’s criminal investigation competency had already transferred to Customs during the 2003 re-organisation and the department since then did not initiate any investigations on economic criminal cases.

The proposed change, according to the suggestion set out by the Executive Council, will be in effect the next day after being published in the Official Gazette.

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