(Updated: Reporter Bob Mackin has published quite a different angle to this story in the Vancouver Courier, also today, April 29: Vancouver man on China’s most-wanted list claims innocence. Subsequently, the Vancouver Sun chimed in with Vancouver developer denies corruption charges in China.)
This article appeared in a Hong Hong paper today. For us, it raises many questions. One wonders what the implications are for the Metro Vancouver region. Was “hot” money invested in property developments here? How much, and where? Did any of this money or subsequent profits find its way into the hands of politicians as political donations? Did these fugitives or their agents have contact with elected officials or public servants? How prevalent are previously-unknown cases like these? What have their impacts been on housing affordability? Will Canadian authorities cooperate? How much information will the public ever get?
Major Vancouver property developer is a Chinese corruption suspect wanted by Interpol
(by Ian Young, South China Morning Post, 29-Apr-2015)
A few excerpts below. Please go to SCMP site for the full article.
- A prominent Vancouver property developer has been identified as a Chinese corruption
- suspect who is wanted by Interpol, the South China Morning Post can reveal.
- Photographs of businessman Michael Ching Mo Yeung, the president and CEO of Mo Yeung International Enterprise Ltd, match Interpol’s photo of fugitive Cheng Muyang, who is sought by the People’s Procuratorate of Qiaoxi District in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, for graft and concealing and transferring illegal gains.
- Cheng, 45, is the son of Cheng Weigao – a powerful official who served as the party chief of Hebei province and later the chairman of the local people’s congress. Cheng Weigao was investigated for corruption and subsequently expelled from the Communist Party in 2003. He died in disgrace in 2010.
- The son was named by graft watchdog the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) in its investigation report against the father. “Our investigation showed that Cheng Weigao, while he was the senior leader of Hebei province, abused power to help his son Cheng Muyang to grab money. [Their illegal actions] have caused huge losses to the state,” said the report carried by Xinhua last Thursday.
- Photo caption: Michael Ching (right), pictured in 2011 at an event in Richmond with Thomas Wu, former president of the Canada Asia Pacific Business Association, of which Ching is a director.
- … Cheng Muyang, a permanent Hong Kong resident, fled from the mainland to the city in 2000. He left Hong Kong for Canada in the same year, according to the CCDI… Cheng was last week included among the 100 international financial fugitives whose photos and details were released by the CCDI as part of the graft-busting Operation Skynet.
- … Ching is a well-known businessman in Vancouver whose company is behind major projects such as the massive International Trade Centre in Richmond, which is scheduled to open just outside Vancouver’s international airport in 2017. The ITC is slated to include two high-rise office towers, a luxury 110-room Opus Hotel, as well as 34,000sq ft of shops and restaurants….
- The Post has no evidence of Cheng’s guilt or innocence.
- … The CCDI said last week that China issued the list of 100 fugitives as part of its efforts to
“strengthen co-operation with law enforcement authorities of relevant countries and make
full use of available resources so as to bring criminals to justice”. It is believed to be an attempt to put public pressure of foreign police to pursue fugitives on China’s behalf.
- Cheng is among 26 fugitives on the CCDI list who are suspected of having fled to Canada.
- … China and Canada do not have an extradition treaty, complicating Beijing’s efforts to track down corruption suspects. However, Beijing has managed to secure other fugitives from Canada using other means.