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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 July, 2003, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
Stars arrested over 'rigged' awards
Hong Kong
The investigation is allegedly one of Hong Kong's biggest
Several of Hong Kong's biggest music stars and industry figures have been arrested as part of an investigation into corruption in the music industry.

Businessman Albert Yeung, chair of the Emperor Group, and 19-year-old singer Juno Mak were reported to be amongst the 22 people arrested on Wednesday by investigators from Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

The ICAC said it had arrested two senior executives and another employee from television station TVB and the president, vice-president and several singers from a record label, after allegations that chart positions and music awards had been rigged.

Other figures - a chairman and three other employees from an entertainment company - have also been arrested.

They have been detained because of corruption allegations over what the ICAC said was preferential treatment of "a number of singers, including the promotion of these singers and their hits on a music billboard".

'Bribes offered'

Eight of those arrested were later released on bail on Thursday, the commission said. Another 26 people had been interviewed during the crackdown and released without charge.

The commission said the members of the entertainment company had offered bribes to broadcasters if they ensured their singers had high chart placings.

The ICAC also said it was looking into allegations that bribes were also offered in exchange for various music awards.

Singers reportedly interviewed by police included Eason Chan Yik-shun, Yumiko, Taiwanese entertainer Dave Wang Chieh and Nicholas Tse, Hong Kong's biggest pop star.

Juno Mak picked up the "best interpretation" award during TVB Jade's Solid Gold Awards in January, but was booed loudly by members of the studio audience.

The singer's musical ability has frequently come under attack in the Hong Kong tabloid press.

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