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Guo Wengui

Interpol issues red notice for Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui ‘at Beijing’s request’ after corruption claim report

Notice follows recent reports in which Guo claims to have proof of corrupt activities undertaken by officials

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 April, 2017, 11:26am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 April, 2017, 9:33am

The Interpol on Tuesday evening issued a red notice for Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui at China’s request, sources who were briefed on the notice told the South China Morning Post.

The sources, who asked not to be identified, said Guo – who has close ties to disgraced former state security vice-minister Ma Jian – was suspected of bribing Ma with 60 million yuan (HK$67.8 million, US$8.72 million), according to the Interpol notice.

Ma is presently under corruption investigation.

What’s an Interpol red notice and what power does it wield over wanted Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui?

An Interpol red notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition, according to the Interpol website. It is not an international arrest warrant.

The Ministry of Public Security in Beijing did not respond to faxed questions for comment, while the Interpol told the Post that it would not comment on specific cases or individuals.

Guo, a real estate tycoon who is also known as Miles Kwok, said on his Twitter account that he was in the United States and London recently. China does not have an extradition treaty with both the US and Britain.

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According to a post by Guo on his Twitter account on April 14, he will have a three-hour interview with Voice of America on Wednesday morning, US Eastern Standard Time.​

The red notice for Guo comes three days after The New York Times’ report on Guo, which looked into the tycoon’s claim that the son of China’s former anti-graft chief He Guoqiang was a backer of Guo’s now-jailed business rival Li You.

The report said that it found some documentation to back up Guo’s assertion that the He family had a financial stake in Founder Securities. Li was the former CEO of its parent company, the Founder Group.

Guo made the allegations against He in the second of his two interviews with Mingjing News, a Chinese-language news website, earlier this year.

In the first interview, Guo alleged that Fu Zhenghua, China’s executive deputy minister of public security, had abused his authority.

Tumultuous times for China’s tycoons

Two months later, the Ministry of Public Security’s social media account released a video accusing Guo of blackmailing officials.

Chinese media outlet Caixin files lawsuits accusing tycoon Guo Wengui of libel

Although the acts of bribing someone and accepting bribes both carry the same penalties under Chinese law, the authorities have so far been focused more on punishing those who take bribes.

Among the 100 fugitives for whom the Interpol’s National Central Bureau for China issued a red notice in 2015, only one of them was wanted on suspicion of paying bribes. All the others are suspected of embezzlement, fraud or receiving bribes.

Additional reporting by Mimi Lau