Interpol issues ‘red notice’ for Guo Wengui

By Global Times – Agencies Source:Global Times Published: 2017/4/19 23:53:39

Suspect alleged to be connected to many fallen top officials

China's foreign ministry said Wednesday that Interpol had issued a "red notice" for Guo Wengui, a suspect wanted by China who is alleged to have been connected to a number of graft scandals.

Guo, who is known to have close ties with disgraced former State security vice minister Ma Jian, has mainly lived in the US since leaving China two years ago.

The South China Morning Post first reported that an Interpol "red notice" was issued for Guo at China's request on Tuesday evening, citing unidentified sources. The newspaper said Guo is suspected of bribing Ma with 60 million yuan ($8.71 million). Ma, who worked in counter-espionage, is being prosecuted for graft and was expelled from the Communist Party of China in December.

"What we understand is that Interpol has already issued a 'red notice' for criminal suspect Guo Wengui," foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing in Beijing, without elaborating.

A "red notice" is an international alert to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action, according to Interpol.

However the "red notice" is not an arrest warrant and the US does not have an extradition treaty with China.

Guo, writing on his Twitter account, said Interpol was an organization and not a government and had no administrative powers, and that for many years he has had no Chinese identity documents.

In an e-mailed response to questions, Interpol said it does not comment on specific cases without the approval of the country sharing information on investigations and fugitives, Reuters reported.

Countries requesting "red notices" can also have them published on the Interpol website. There was no such notice for Guo or any of his known aliases as of press time.

"If no red notice is published, this is either because one has not been requested or issued for that person, or the requesting country has asked that it not be publicized," Interpol said in its e-mail.

'Pangu Club'

Guo, boss of real estate company Beijing Zenith Holdings that owns the landmark Pangu Plaza near the Beijing Olympic Park in northern Beijing, reportedly created a "Pangu Club" that gathered together senior government officials and rich businesspeople.

According to Chinese finance magazine Caixin, the downfall of China's top insurance regulator, Xiang Junbo, is allegedly related to Guo.

Caixin quoted anonymous sources as saying that Xiang, while serving as board director of the State-owned Agricultural Bank of China, approved a loan worth 3.2 billion yuan to Guo's financially strained company in 2010.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced its investigation into Xiang, the most senior financial regulator to be probed, on April 9.

Guo also allegedly toppled the former vice mayor of Beijing, Liu Zhihua, and secured a key land development project near the National Stadium in Beijing. Caixin quoted sources close to the matter as saying that Guo caused Liu's downfall by sending the authorities a sex tape starring Liu and his mistress.

Caixin also alleged that Guo is connected to Wang Youjie, former Party chief of Zhengzhou, Henan Province, who was handed a suspended death sentence in 2007 for corruption. 

Zhang Yue, former head of the Hebei Provincial Political and Legal Affairs Commission and a member of the province's Party committee, was another official who provided help to Guo's business and was removed from his post in 2016.

Media reports said Zhang's downfall is linked to his part in jailing Guo's rival Qu Long, former head of Beijing Zhongyin Investment.

Qu, a former business partner of Guo, broke with Guo over business disputes and tried to report Guo for the illegal practice of "seizing State assets." After Zhang intervened, Qu was sentenced to 15 years and jailed on charges of "misappropriation," China Business News quoted multiple sources as saying.

Posted in: POLITICS

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