Bank of China

Xian firm's close call with fraud

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 April, 2007, 12:00am

A company in Xian had a close call after a Chinese-American almost succeeded in using a forged letter of credit to trick the local firm into working with him to seek a public listing in Hong Kong.

Xinhua reported last night that metallurgy company Haihua had almost believed in Wu Bin, who approached the firm in 2003 in the guise of a wealthy businessman.

Armed with a 'credit letter' issued by the Bank of China in Hong Kong, Wu posed as a successful foreign tycoon with HK$100 million to invest. He persuaded Haihua to set up a joint venture and promised to inject US$2.75 million into the company to build natural-gas stations.

Wu tried to push for public listing of the joint-venture company in Hong Kong, but Haihua was not convinced it was viable.

Haihua soon became suspicious after Wu repeatedly declined to inject funds into the company. It approached Bank of China and was told in 2005 the letter of credit letter was a fake and that Wu's firm in the Virgin Islands had only US$1 in registered capital.

Haihua had to borrow to finance the gas station project.