Chief Executive expresses sincere condolences on the death of the Director General of the Macao Customs

Chief Executive, Mr Chui Sai On, expresses sincere condolences over the death of the Director General of the Macao Customs, Ms Lai Man Wa.

The Chief Executive, Mr Chui Sai On, announced this evening the death of the Director General of the Macao Customs Service, Ms Lai Man Wa. It is suspected that Ms Lai, age 56, committed suicide, according to preliminary investigations. In a press conference held at the Government Headquarters, Mr Chui expressed his deep sadness at the death of Ms Lai and said he was shocked by the news. The Chief Executive offered his deepest condolences to her family. Mr Chui said he and Ms Lai, who had served the Macao community for more than 30 years, had developed a long friendship. He urged everyone to remember Ms Lai for her professional integrity, passion and dedication to her duties. The Chief Executive also said that he had confirmed with the Commission Against Corruption that Ms Lai was not the target of any investigation. Mr Chui additionally said he had reported the case to the Central Government, according to existing protocols. He added that the Secretary for Security, Mr Wong Sio Chak, has been temporarily assigned to take on the position of Director General of the Macao Customs Service. The Chief Executive will in due time nominate a new Director General, whose appointment will have to be ratified by the Central Government. In the same occasion, Secretary Wong said Ms Lai’s body was found at a public toilet in Taipa at around 3:30pm. There was no suicide note, he added. A preliminary forensic investigation ruled out the possibility of murder, said Mr Wong, adding that the authorities need to further investigate the case before ruling on the cause of death. Mr Wong also said he was shocked by Ms Lai’s sudden death and expressed sadness over the news, adding that the Government would provide assistance to her family. He said there was nothing strange about Ms Lai’s recent behaviour, adding that she was scheduled to attend a meeting with him in Zhuhai this afternoon. Ms Lai took on the position of Director General of the Macao Customs Service on 20 December 2014. She joined the Public Security Force of Macao in April 1984, and one year later worked as a class-2 officer for the Marine Police Bureau. She was promoted to sub-chief in June 1986 and commissioner in October 1990. Later, she attended a training programme for police officials. In January 1995, Mr Lai became deputy commissioner and was gradually promoted until she reached the post of superintendent. From March 1999, she took up several leadership roles, including deputy director of the Marine Police Bureau and deputy director-general of the Macao Customs Service (director grade level) until December 2014.

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