Executives of fugitive Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui’s company go on trial for fraud

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Three top managers are facing charges of obtaining a loan by deception from Agricultural Bank of China.

Three executives of the flagship company of fugitive Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui went on trial on fraud charges on Friday morning in the northeastern port city of Dalian.

Yang Ying, the chief financial officer of Beijing Pangu Investment Company Limited, Lu Tao, its deputy general manager, and Xie Honglin, a financial manager, have been charged with obtaining loans using fraudulent documents, according to a notice posted by the Xigang District People’s Court in Dalian.

Lu and Xie are also accused of buying foreign currency by fraudulent means.

At issue is a 3.2 billion yuan loan (US$470 million) that Pangu secured from the Agricultural Bank of China between 2009 and 2010. The Beijing News reported earlier that the loan had played a part in the downfall of the former chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, Xiang Junbo, who was Agricultural Bank’s chairman at the time of the loan.

Two months ago mainland media released a video confession by Yang, dressed in prison clothes and with her hands cuffed, in which she said Guo had ordered her to fabricate financial documents to obtain the loan from Agricultural Bank.

In a previous online video statement, Guo had strongly denied any irregularities over the loan, saying that he had paid back all the capital and interest to the bank well before the deadline.

Guo, who is believed to be in the US, tweeted on Thursday evening that he was hoping for good luck in the trial.

Guo, a property developer with close ties to former dep­uty state security minister Ma Jian, is wanted by Beijing over allegations of corruption, and is subject to an Interpol “red notice”, which is a request to Interpol member states to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition.

By Choi Chi-yuk
South China Morning Post

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