Portugal refuses to extradite Chinese investor who holds ‘golden visa’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 June, 2014, 9:55pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 June, 2014, 9:55pm


Portugal has refused to extradite a Chinese investor with a "golden visa" who had been sentenced to 10 years in jail in China.

The man, in his 40s and the subject of an international arrest warrant, was arrested in March.

But a judicial source told the Lusa news agency that the crimes of fraud and breach of trust for which he was convicted in China had no equivalent in Portugal.

In a bid to attract foreign cash, Portugal began awarding "golden visas" in 2012 to foreigners investing €500,000 (HK$5.2 million) for at least five years.

The visa offers free movement throughout Europe.

Responding to critics, the Portuguese government said the arrest warrant was not issued when the visa was awarded.

Lisbon hopes the programme will generate more than €500 million in foreign investments this year. Last year Portugal issued 471 of the visas to investors, most of them from China.