Snooker star fights teaching charge

Top News | Jane Lam 17 Apr 2018

Former world-class snooker player Stephen Lee will fight accusations that he was employed in Hong Kong after being charged with teaching without a work permit.

The Briton was arrested on Thursday for allegedly illegally teaching in a billiards hall in Jordan. He denied the charge yesterday in Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts and was granted bail pending trial on June 8.

Lee allegedly worked illegally in a newly opened snooker parlor - Q School - which charges HK$1,000 per hour for every student.

The parlor is owned by local ex-professional snooker player Au Chi-wai, who won silver in the men's doubles tournament at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea, with partner Marco Fu Ka-chun.

Lee, 43, was arrested during an undercover raid by the Immigration Department on April 12. Au and another staff member were detained on suspicion of illegal employment.

A promotion on snooker classes offered by Lee was deleted from Q School's Facebook page after his arrest. The page was later also deleted.

The school posted a notice claiming that it was temporarily closed due to emergency maintenance.

Lee could be jailed for up to two years and fined HK$50,000, while Au could face up to three years in prison and fined HK$350,000.

Lee was ranked first in the 1998 Grand Prix snooker after defeating Fu 9-2 in the final.

In 2012, Lee was involved in a scandal in which he was accused of fixing seven matches between 2008 and 2009.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association fined him 125,000 (HK$1.4 million) and barred him from competing for 12 years. Lee set up a snooker academy in Shenzhen in 2015.

In 2016, Lee was convicted of fraud at Swindon Magistrates' Court when he agreed to sell his cue for 1,600 to a fan in Hong Kong through Facebook. He took the money without delivering the cue, which he continued to use. Lee pleaded guilty and was ordered to repay the 1,600, along with a fine of 110.

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