A Chinese property developer secretly taped Australian local councillors holding hands with escorts on a ‘boy’s weekend’ trip to , a corruption probe heard.
The high-class sex workers were caught on camera with the balding, middle-aged men, who sat on Hurstville/Georges River Council in south-west , in a sleazy honeytrap.
The young women, in short and tight dresses, are seen leading off former mayor Vincenzo Badalati and councillor Philip Sansom hand-in-hand and dining together.
Now Mr Badalati has admitted the seedy video was taken as part of a blackmail plot that is now in the sights of ‘s Independent Commission Against Corruption.
A Chinese property developer secretly videoed Sydney councillors as he plied them with escorts on luxury ‘boys weekend’ trips to China, a corruption probe has heard
The high-class sex workers were caught on camera as they smooched up to the balding middle-aged men before they were seen leading them off hand-in-hand
The ICAC is investigating alleged kickbacks for planning approval at Hurstville/Georges River Council, with Mayor Badalati, councillor Sansom and ex-deputy mayor Constantine Hindi allegedly taking bribes to support developments between 2014 and 2021.
Clifton Wong, 62, was found dead in his office after giving testimony about alleged corruption at Sydney’s Hurstville Council
The probe was rocked by the apparent suicide earlier this month of one of the councillors called to testify.
Clifton Wong, 62, was found dead in his Sydney office on July 6, eight days after telling the inquiry how he failed to report a developer allegedly slipping $10,000 to ex-deputy mayor Hindi.
Property developer Ching Wah Uy, known as Phillip Uy, was behind plans to build the $128million Landmark One hotel, retail and residential complex and a $44million 75-apartment tower in Hurstville.
The inquiry had previously heard the developer would regularly fly the councillors out to China for ‘boys weekends’, with Mr Uy often picking up the bill.
But he covertly shot the videos of the councillors with the escorts and paid for them as part of a blackmail plot, Mr Badalati told the inquiry.
The ICAC probe heard Phillip Uy and councillor Philip Sansom had hooked up with escorts on multiple trips to China in 2014 and 2015
Property developer Ching Wah Uy, known as Phillip Uy, was behind plans to build the $128million Landmark One hotel, retail and residential complex (pictured) and a $29million 75-apartment tower in Hurstville
On Tuesday, explosive video footage was shown of Sansom and Badalati having dinner with the escorts and and the pair walking off hand-in-hand with them.
The developer can be briefly seen in a reflection pretending to make a call on his phone as he secretly recorded the councillors with the young women.
The former Hurstville mayor admitted the woman he was caught on camera with was an escort but he hadn’t paid for her services and believed Mr Uy had.
‘Having seen this and the other video, I believe it was a blackmail tool,’ he told ICAC after he was confronted with clips from March 2013 and again in July 2013.
‘It’s obvious to me now.’
Ex-Mayor Vincenzo Badalati (centre) admitted the woman he was caught on camera with was an escort but he hadn’t paid for her services and believed developer Phillip Uy (left) had
Vincenzo Badalati allegedly received $70,000 for supporting the 75-unit apartment block and and then he and deputy mayor Hindi were allegedly each given $100,000 for backing the Landmark One development
Former Hurstville mayor Vincenzo Badalati admitted the woman he was caught on camera with was an escort
He said he believed the footage was shot to be used against him and force him to back planning approval for Mr Uy’s developments.
‘If this had been shown to your family at the time, you would have been very embarrassed?’ Counsel Assisting the Commission Zelie Heger asked him.
He said it would have been but admitted Mr Uy had not blackmailed him with it and he had only seen the footage for the first time at the inquiry.
On Monday, the ICAC probe heard Mr Uy and councillor Sansom had also hooked up with escorts on multiple trips to China in 2014 and 2015.
Receipts shown to the probe revealed Mr Uy had spent thousands on flights and hotel accommodation for Mr Sansom, https://millionescorts.com/ who claimed he had repaid some flight costs.
When Ms Heger said it was a ‘significant conflict of interest’, he admitted he should have declared that he had a ‘non-pecuniary interest’.
Phillip Uy admitted taking a photograph of around $300,000 in cash laid out on an ironing table in his Rhodes apartment in Sydney
Mr Badalati has already admitted accepting an alleged $170,000 in bribes from Mr Uy for supporting planning approval for his two developments in 2016, despite opposition from council staff.
Phillip Uy denies giving the bribes and said he was taking the money to Hong Kong
He allegedly received $70,000 for supporting the 75-unit apartment block and then he and deputy mayor Hindi were allegedly each given $100,000 for backing the Landmark One development.
‘[Mr Uy] opened his boot and gave us two bags each [and said] “Thank you for your assistance on Landmark”,’ Mr Badalati told the inquiry in June.
Mr Uy denies giving the bribes but admitted taking a photograph of around $300,000 in cash laid out on an ironing table in his Rhodes apartment in Sydney.
He said he had withdrawn the money to take back to Hong Kong with him.
The inquiry continues.