Sunday, January 21, 2018
Chinese Criminals..short stories, 2018
|Italy ordered the arrest of 33 people for running a Chinese mafia group involved in gambling, prostitution and drugs, and which dominated the transport of Chinese goods across Europe. The group’s base was in Prato, near Florence, a hub for the textile industry where many factories are owned and run by Chinese.|
Boss Naizhong Zhang, was based in Rome. He used profits from illegal activities to build a massive transport company that dominated the trucking of goods for thousands of Chinese companies. The network had members in other parts of Italy and across Europe.
|Arrest warrants were issued in Rome, Milan, Padua, Paris, Madrid and Neuss, Germany. Zhang won a near-monopoly in distribution across much of Europe through threats and violence against Chinese company owners.|
Monday, February 1, 2016
Ding Ning, owner of Ezubao
|BEIJING - Chinese police arrested 21 employees at China's largest online finance business on suspicion of fleecing 900,000 investors of $7.6 billion, in what could be the biggest financial fraud in Chinese history.|
State broadcaster CCTV aired confessions from two former employees at Ezubao, an Anhui Province outfit that rose from obscurity to become China's largest online financing platform in the span of about 18 months.
|Ezubao was the most spectacular player in a booming online investment industry that Chinese authorities have been struggling to regulate.|
Firms ranging from established Internet companies such as Alibaba to virtually unknown upstarts have flooded into the business, promising higher returns than those at state-run banks, which often offer interest rates below inflation.
|Ezubao promised investors that borrowers would pay back loans at interest rates between 9 per cent and 14.6 per cent, but 95 per cent of those borrowers were fictional entities created by Ezubao, a former company executive told investigators.|
Ezubao’s website has been shut down and it appeared Yucheng Group’s Beijing office had been closed when Reuters reporters visited before Monday’s Xinhua report. Chinese police said they had sealed, frozen and seized the assets of Ezubao and its linked companies as part of investigations. "The truth is that it's a fraud ... it's a typical Ponzi scheme," Zhang, the associate, said in her aired confession.
|A Ponzi scheme is a fraud that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit.|
It is named after Charles Ponzi, who simply applied the concept to the arbitrage of International Reply Coupons.
|Ponzi's scheme eventually brought down six banks. His investors were practically wiped out, receiving less than 30 cents on the dollar. Investors lost about 20 million in 1920 dollars (245 million in 2015 dollars).|
Bernie Madoff's similar scheme that collapsed in 2008 cost his investors about 10 billion, many times the losses of Charles Ponzi's scheme.
|Investigators tried to trace Ponzi's convoluted accounts to figure out how much money he had taken and where it had gone. They never managed to untangle it and could conclude only that millions had gone through his hands. Ponzi spent the last years of his life in poverty, working occasionally as a translator.|
He died in a charity hospital in Rio de Janeiro, on January 18, 1949.
Sunday, September 3, 2017
|Dozens of illegal migrants fleeing from US Border Patrol agents led authorities to a surprising discovery over the weekend: a tunnel under the US-Mexico border in San Diego used to bring Chinese nationals illegally into the United States. When agents headed toward them, the migrants ran toward a hole in the ground near a border fence. The hole was covered with a few branches and a wooden ladder led down to an underground passageway to Mexico. Agents detained 23 Chinese nationals and seven Mexicans.|
|Human smugglers are cashing in from Chinese nationals who pay up to US$20,000 a person to be brought from their homeland to the United States. Detentions of Chinese nationals crossing the border in the San Diego area has jumped from just four in 2013 to 861 last year.|
US authorities plan to seal the tunnel with cement.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
13097-28th Ave, Surrey
|A major Chinese bank has obtained a court order in B.C. freezing the assets of a businessman accused of fleeing China and buying "luxury" Lower Mainland homes after defaulting on a $10 million loan.|
In an application brought before a B.C. Supreme Court judge last week, lawyers for China CITIC Bank claim Shibiao Yan and his wife bought more than $8 million worth of properties in Surrey and Vancouver over a three-month period beginning in June 2014.
|Shibiao Yan owns three multi-million dollar properties in a Vancouver suburb and resides in a C$3 million Vancouver home owned by his wife, according to court documents.|
The court case comes amid speculation about the role of offshore money from wealthy Chinese in driving the out-of-control Lower Mainland real estate market. Last year, Canada's anti-money laundering watchdog FINTRAC claimed to have stepped up enforcement activities in Vancouver's real estate market
|According to the lawsuit, China CITIC Bank is seeking repayment for a line of credit worth 50 million yuan, or roughly $7.5 million, taken out by a Chinese lumber company and personally guaranteed by Yan, who was the company's majority shareholder at the time.|
Housing prices have jumped 30 percent in the last year.
|China Citic Bank is controlled by the Citic Group, which in turn is directly controlled by the State Council, China's cabinet. It has been accused of facilitating the movement of currency overseas. "It is not an illegal business," said one source. It is reported to be a very lucrative business.|
Under Chinese law, citizens are allowed to take only the equivalent of US$50,000 out of the country each year.
Monday, March 21, 2016
|Indonesia on Monday protested the Chinese coast guard's retrieval of a ship while it was detained for fishing illegally in Indonesian waters. An Indonesian fisheries ministry patrol ship had intercepted the Chinese vessel on Saturday within Indonesia's exclusive economic zone which overlaps with the southernmost reaches of the South China Sea. Eight crewmen were detained.|
|The fishing vessel Kway Fey was being towed when a Chinese coastguard vessel collided with it, allowing its escape.|
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said China's coast guard "violated our sovereignty" and called on China to respect international law. China's expansive claims to most of the South China Sea have raised tensions with several Southeast Asian countries, especially as China reclaims land on reefs and builds infrastructure in disputed areas.
Friday, April 27, 2018
|The US Treasury named Chinese fentanyl supplier Jian Zhang, of Shanghai, as a major global trafficker, ships mainly to Canada. Designating Zhang under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act allows it to go after his financial interests around the world. Zhang was already indicted last October as part of a joint US-Chinese law enforcement investigation into trade in fentanyl.|
Thursday, May 19, 2016
|The Chinese military is poised to send submarines armed with nuclear missiles into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, arguing that new US weapons systems have so undermined Beijing’s existing deterrent force that it has been left with no alternative. They point to plans unveiled in March to station the US Thaad anti-ballistic system in South Korea, and the development of hypersonic glide missiles potentially capable of hitting China less than an hour after launch, as huge threats to the effectiveness of its land-based deterrent force.|
A recent Pentagon report to Congress predicted that “China will probably conduct its first nuclear deterrence patrol sometime in 2016”
|Last Tuesday, a US spy plane and two Chinese fighter jets came close to colliding 50 miles off Hainan island, where China’s four Jin-Class ballistic missile submarines are based. A fifth is under construction.|
Each Jin submarine can carry up to 12 ballistic missiles.
|Behind the ominous warnings is growing concern in the People’s Liberation army that China’s relatively small nuclear arsenal (estimated at 260 warheads compared with 7,000 each for the US and Russia), made up mostly of land-based missiles, is increasingly vulnerable to a devastating first strike, by either nuclear or conventional weapons.|
Thursday, May 12, 2016
|Two Chinese fighter jets carried out an "unsafe" intercept of a US military reconnaissance aircraft over the South China Sea, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, drawing a rebuke from Beijing, which demanded that Washington end surveillance near China.|
The incident, likely to increase tension in and around the contested waterway, took place on Tuesday as the US maritime patrol aircraft carried out "a routine US patrol," a Pentagon statement said.
|The incident took place in international airspace on Tuesday with the jets coming within 50 feet of the patrol aircraft. The encounter comes a week after China scrambled fighter jets as a U.S. Navy ship sailed close to a disputed reef in the South China Sea. China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the U.S. statement was "not true"|
"We demand that the United States immediately cease this type of close reconnaissance activity to avoid having this sort of incident happening again," Hong said, adding that the actions of the Chinese aircraft were "completely in keeping with safety and professional standards".
|While the precise location of the encounter is not yet known, regional military attaches and experts say the southern Chinese coast is a military area of increasing sensitivity for Beijing. Its submarine bases on Hainan are home to an expanding fleet of nuclear-armed submarines and a big target for on-going Western surveillance operations.|
The Guangdong coast is also believed to be home to some of China's most advanced missiles, including the DF-21D anti-ship weapon
Thursday, June 16, 2016
|Chinese police have detained a man over an attack on an airline check-in clerk that left her lying in a pool of blood and arrested two others who charged the cockpit as their flight was taxiing for takeoff.|
The man had apparently been enraged after the clerk told him she couldn't print out his friend's travel itinerary without the man's ID card.
The incidents are the latest in a long series of dangerous acts involving Chinese airline travellers who have developed a reputation for being difficult and often violent.
|A statement from the Civil Aviation Administration of China said two men aboard a Hainan Airlines flight on Sunday demanded to be upgraded to business class as their flight was taxiing.|
When told to remain seated, they fought with a member of the cabin crew and a passenger who tried to help, then pounded on the cockpit door. They continued to kick and punch after police boarded the flight and had to be removed in handcuffs, the CAAC said. They now face criminal charges for obstruction, it said.
Monday, June 6, 2016
Ambassador Luo Zhaohui
|China’s ambassador in Ottawa is urging Canadians not to be “blinded” by their differences with his country over human rights and miss the opportunity to achieve what he calls a golden era in bilateral relations, including a possible free-trade deal.|
Published on The Globe and Mail’s website Sunday, Ambassador Luo Zhaohui touted last week’s visit to Ottawa of Foreign Minister Wang Yi as an important step in boosting mutually beneficial relations. Wang sparked controversy during a press conference when he lashed out at a reporter for questioning the country’s human-rights record. The Chinese had earlier demanded a visit with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which it eventually received.
|The ambassador echoed Mr. Wang’s concern about journalists who ignore China’s “tremendous and universally recognized achievements” in human rights and focus only on its problems. To do so, he warned, risks undermining hopes of the two governments to enhance China-Canada relations.|
At a news conference last week, Mr. Wang berated the reporter after she asked a question about China’s human-rights record and the imprisonment of Canadian missionary Kevin Garratt. On the global stage, Chinese leaders have often bristled at foreign criticism and used the threat of damaged economic relations to quell it.
|China wants to begin negotiations on a bilateral free-trade agreement. But before talks can start, Ottawa must approve an oil-sands export pipeline through British Columbia, and roll back restrictions on state-owned companies buying oil-sands assets.|
The Canada China Business Council estimates a free-trade pact could boost Canadian exports by $7.7-billion by 2030 and create an additional 25,000 Canadian jobs. But critics worry such a deal would be one-sided. Canada had a $46-billion trade deficit with China last year, importing manufactured goods and exporting raw materials and agricultural products.