(1) The Authority may, by written notice served on the approved trustee of a registered scheme, notify that trustee that the Authority intends to investigate the matters specified in the notice on the ground that the Authority reasonably believes that-
(a) a person has contravened this Ordinance (except sections 34L, 34ZL and 34ZM), a requirement imposed under this Ordinance, or a condition imposed under this Ordinance (except section 34X), with respect to the scheme; or (Amended 16 of 2012 s. 12)
(b) circumstances may exist that could prejudice the interests of scheme members; or
(c) the trustee is failing, or has failed, to fulfil the trustee's duties with respect to the scheme. (Replaced 4 of 1998 s. 2)
(1A) The Authority must, as soon as practicable after serving such a notice, investigate the matters specified in the notice. (Added 4 of 1998 s. 2)
(2) The Authority may appoint one or more competent persons to be inspectors to conduct an investigation under this section.
(3) For the purpose of conducting an investigation, an inspector may do any of the following-
(a) enter premises (other than premises referred to in subsection (3A)) if the inspector reasonably believes that it is necessary to enter those premises because they may have some connection with a registered scheme;
(b) inspect those premises and make copies of records found on the premises that the inspector reasonably believes may relate to the financial or other affairs of the scheme;
(c) require the trustee of the scheme or any other person who the inspector reasonably believes has custody of records relating to the affairs of the trustee or the scheme to produce the records to the inspector;
(d) require the trustee or any other person who the inspector reasonably believes has information concerning the affairs of the scheme-
(i) to give all reasonable assistance to the inspector in connection with the investigation; and
(ii) to appear before the inspector at a time and place specified by the inspector in writing to be examined with respect to the matters relating to the affairs of the trustee or the scheme and to answer questions that the inspector may put to the trustee or other person. (Replaced 4 of 1998 s. 2)
(3A) If premises are being used as private dwelling, an inspector may enter and search those premises only under the authority of a warrant issued under subsection (3B). (Added 4 of 1998 s. 2)
(3B) A magistrate may, on an application made by or on behalf of an inspector, issue a warrant authorizing the inspector to enter and search premises referred to in subsection (3A) if satisfied by information made on oath that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting-
(a) that the premises may have some connection with a particular registered scheme; and
(b) that there may be on the premises records relating to the affairs of the trustee or the scheme. (Added 4 of 1998 s. 2)
(3C) An inspector who enters premises under the authority of a warrant issued under this section may take possession of any records that the inspector reasonably believes relate to the affairs of the trustee or the scheme. (Added 4 of 1998 s. 2)
(4) If an inspector is satisfied that any person has, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with any reasonable request in respect of his investigation or any requirement made under this Ordinance in respect of that investigation, the inspector may, by complaint made to the Court, certify the failure of that person to so comply.
(5) On the receipt of a certificate made under subsection (4), the Court may inquire into the case and, after hearing any statement that may be offered by way of an explanation by the person who is the subject of the complaint, may accept that explanation or alternatively punish that person in the same way as a person who is found guilty of a contempt of court.
(6) A person is not excused from answering a question that may be put to him by an inspector under this section on the ground that the answer may tend to incriminate him but, if the person claims, before answering the question, that the answer may tend to incriminate him, neither the question put to him by the inspector nor the answer of the person is admissible in evidence against the person in criminal proceedings other than in proceedings relating to a charge of perjury in respect of the answer.
(7) Any person who fails to produce any document or record required to be produced under subsection (3) with the intention of obstructing, delaying or otherwise frustrating the commencement, progress or completion of an investigation under this section commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine at level 6 and to imprisonment for 1 year.
(8) On the completion of an investigation by an inspector under this section, the inspector shall prepare a report setting out his findings concerning the circumstances or other matters investigated by him and any other relevant matters arising out of the investigation that the inspector reasonably believes should be included in the report and shall submit that report to the Authority.
(9) On receiving a report of an investigation conducted under this section, the Authority must provide a copy of the report to the approved trustee of the registered scheme concerned. The Authority may also do either or both of the following-
(a) provide a copy of the report to any person who appears to the Authority to have an interest in the scheme;
(b) publish the report or any part of it in such publication as it considers appropriate. (Replaced 4 of 1998 s. 2)
(10) Nothing in this section requires disclosure to an inspector appointed under subsection (2)-
(a) by a solicitor of any privileged communication made to him in that capacity, except as respects the name and address of his client; or
(b) by an authorized institution within the meaning of the Banking Ordinance (Cap 155) relating to the affairs of a customer unless-
(i) that customer is a person who the inspector reasonably believes may be able to give information relevant to the investigation; and
(ii) the Authority is satisfied that the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of the investigation and certifies in writing that this is the case.