Date: 9 June 2017, New York. by : Guston Dastov
Guo Wengui Arrested ? – No, Beijing asked Interpol to issue a global request for Guo Wengui arrest.
Guo Wengui, a New-York based Chinese businessman has an allegation for intentionally asking his employees to scam and acquire hundreds of millions of dollars in loans. This was revealed by the senior employees of his real estate company who told a court in China’s north eastern Liaoning province.
The appearing was held on Friday at Dalian Xigang People’s Court. The fraud was testified by three staffs of Guo who confessed that they were involved in obtaining 3.2 billion yuan which amounts to $470.5 million, from the Agricultural Bank of China. This was done in 2010 and they used phoney company contracts, vague official seals and receipts. In 2014, the loan was paid completely. It has been also notified by two of the defendants that they did false purchase of foreign currency.
However, Guo has denied of the charges saying that the facts were completely different. He said that he was not involved in any such scam and the employees must have carried that because of the competition for higher pay and bonuses.
He also added that they wanted to impress their boss and did what was inappropriate. He also blamed the strict regulation of China that many time make people divert from the right path.
Because of the popularity and after unleashing a surge of corruption accusations against high-level Communist Party officials which was done through Twitter posts and video blogs, Guo has arisen as a political threat to the Chinese government in recent months.
The evidence provided by Guo is negligible. However, his connections with China’s most senior intelligence officials, Ma Jian who is the shamed former state security vice-minister, have enticed a large online following. He has become a popular among Beijing political circles.
During Friday trial, Guo name was not among the list of defendants, still the employees were asked repeatedly to confirm if Guo was the controller of all the scams of Pangu and the ultimate decision taker for the loan frauds.
It is not common that foreign media gets permission for watching the live feed of the proceeding. However, in this case, it was made an exception. The transcripts were also posted on the weibo account which is an official court account.
Guo has requested to either free their employees who have been detained since early 2015 or for a trail in accordance with Chinese law. “As long as they given back their freedom, they can say they committed murder and arson that’s fine, as long as they go home,” Guo added. He further said that the new leaders have expedited the hearing.
Yang Yin, Pangu’s former finance director told the court, “Finances at the time were tight and we needed funds so Guo Wengui already contacted the bank, we were just instructed to prepare documents. All decisions were taken by him.”
The defendants are regretting and have asked for leniency. They also outlined the impact of the lengthy detention has caused. The court has not specified the date of the verdict.
Xiang Junbo, who was appointed as the head of Agricultural Bank of China when the loans were passed, was investigated in April.
China is not affected with the backlash in the case. On the other hand, those who were found to have any connection out of Guo’s online allegations, have filed defamation suits against him in New York. The list of people includes Pan Shiyi who is the Chairman of property developer SOHO China, and Hu Shuli who is the prominent journalist and founder of Caixin Media.
Yuge Bromley who is an Australian designer has also decided to sue him as Guocalled her the illegitimate child of a senior Communist Party official.