'Father of Chinese Viagra' gambles $300m in New Zealand casino

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-2-22 0:53:01

The so-called "Father of Chinese Viagra," who fled to New Zealand and was given an Interpol notice, gambled nearly $300 million in a New Zealand casino.

Yan Yongming - also known as Bill Liu, Yang Liu and Yong Ming Yan - is the former chairman of Tonghua Golden-horse Group, a pharmaceutical company in Northeast China's Jilin Province, The Beijing News reported in April 2015.

"Yan squandered almost $5 million in just 82 minutes, in one astonishing losing streak" in SkyCity casino, nzherald.co.nz reported on Saturday. Between 2001 and 2013, Yan gambled and won a total of $563 million.

New Zealand's Department of Internal Affairs described Yan as "one of a number of gamblers of significance whom the department has discussed in its interaction with SkyCity."

Jilin police had investigated Yan on suspicion of misappropriation of funds in 2002, the Beijing News reported.

He was ranked fifth on China's list of most-wanted economic fugitives released in April 2015.

Yan resigned in October 2001, when his company had lost 584 million yuan ($90 million). Yan then fled to Australia and New Zealand.

In November 2007, Australian police returned over $2.83 million of Yan's stolen money to China.

Though Yan was involved in a money-laundering inquiry, the $300 million he used to gamble with is not considered money laundering, but an indication of his wealth, said nzherald.co.nz.

No criminal charges have been filed against Yan for gambling.

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