June 4 passport claim ludicrous, says bench

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 May, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 May, 1996, 12:00am

An American businessman who claimed he used fake passports to help Tiananmen Square dissidents find a new life in Brazil was jailed for 21/2 years yesterday.

Judge Wesley Wong Wing-fai labelled the Californian's explanations for having the bogus passports as 'ludicrous' and dismissed the notion he was out 'to save politically troubled people'.

'All the dissidents involved in the June 4, 1989, activities in China would now be in jail or have already escaped,' the judge said.

David Lin Kuo-liang, 40, was convicted after six blank issued Brazilian passports and other bogus documents were found in January in his Convention Centre office, the District Court heard.

'The police found blank Brazilian passports and ID, photocopies of Brazilian ID issued to Chinese, documents related to application for Brazilian citizenship and a book of Portuguese baby names,' Judge Wong said.

Lin claimed he never received any money for the bogus passports and that he was given them by another California businessman named Roland - a man he knew nothing about other than his name.

The judge said no reasonable man would accept that a stranger would suddenly decide to send fake passports to Lin.

He noted that mixed in with the fake documents was information of investment opportunities in Brazil for mainlanders.

When the police raided Lin's office they also discovered fake letters of credit from the Ka Wah Bank. One letter named a nine-figure line of credit with the bank.

Lin denied the charges of possessing equipment to make fake Brazilian passports and identity cards, and that he had false letters of credit.