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May Wang and Jack Chen targets of Hong Kong corruption probe

May Wang and Jack Chen targets of Hong Kong corruption probe

By Paul McBeth

Oct. 18 (BusinessDesk) – Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption has charged Auckland bankrupt May Wang with conspiring to bribe officials with two New Zealand properties and money laundering, and has issued a warrant for the arrest of Jack Chen for his role in the scheme.

Wang, who is now known as Hao May, faces one count of conspiracy to offer advantages to an agent and two of dealing with property known or reasonably believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence, the ICAC said in a statement yesterday. She will appear at the Eastern Magistracy today. Chen failed to report to the ICAC yesterday, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The anti-corruption unit alleges Wang and Chen, known as Chen Keen, conspired between May 2009 and December 2010 to offer two Auckland properties and more than HK$73 million to Chen as payment for procuring Hong Kong exchange-listed Natural Dairy (NZ) Holdings to acquire UBNZ Asset Holdings, which was owned by Wang.

Two other charges allege between December 2009 and December 2010 Wang deal with the sales proceeds to UBNZ Asset Holdings, including two convertible notes worth NZ$150 million, which represented proceeds of an indictable offence.

Wang’s UBNZ unsuccessfully tried to buy the Crafar family farms last year, which it then would have on-sold to Natural Dairy, having its application to the Overseas Investment Office turned down after failing to meet ‘good character’ tests.

UBNZ is still supplying milk to Natural Dairy after buying a facility in Tauranga, though Wang, who was bankrupted for her role in a previously failed business venture, is no longer affiliated with the companies, according to Companies Office documents.

The ICAC thanked New Zealand’s Serious Fraud Office for its assistance in the investigation.

The ICAC was set up in 1974 to reign in rampant corruption in Hong Kong’s public sector, according to its website.

UBNZ has been looking at increasing its investment in local biotechnology Genesis Research & Development. The New Zealand company today said it doesn’t intend on proceeding with any further business dealings with UBNZ.


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