China accuses fugitive tycoon Guo Wengui of commissioning forged documents to bolster asylum request
Police in Chongqing say two brothers were paid to produce fake paperwork to help bolster Guo Wengui’s US asylum application
Chinese police have accused fugitive tycoon Guo Wengui of enlisting two men, including a Chinese Canadian, to forge more than 30 government and Communist Party documents on diplomacy and espionage to bolster his asylum application in the United States.
The two suspected accomplices were brothers and detained separately in February, with one brother picked up in Guangdong province and the other in Hunan, Chongqing police said on Monday.
Some of the documents were made public when Guo presented them at a news conference at Washington’s National Press Club in October while others were reported by US online news outlet the Washington Free Beacon, Chongqing police said.
Guo’s lawyer, the Washington Free Beacon and the Canadian embassy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Post could not independently verify the documents in question.
Guo, 51, left mainland China in 2013 and, despite his tensions with Beijing, maintains a high-profile lifestyle in New York, living in a US$67 million, 9,000 sq ft flat overlooking Central Park.
He has made a series of claims and corruption allegations against senior Chinese officials, particularly in the lead-up to the Communist Party’s five-yearly political reshuffle last year.
The allegations centre on Wang Qishan, then the party’s anti-graft tsar and a close ally of President Xi Jinping. Wang become vice-president last month.
Guo says he has a wealth of evidence of corruption among China’s state leaders and has released some documents that purport to reveal Beijing’s controversial foreign policies. They include a document that says Chinese authorities secretly sent dozens of spies to the US.
Chongqing police said on Monday that the document, which was released at the National Press Club, was a fake concocted by the brothers, whom Guo had allegedly been paying US$4,000 a month since August.
The police also accused the Washington Free Beacon of citing two other fake documents, including one detailing Beijing’s alleged support for North Korea’s nuclear weapons development.
The younger brother, age 41, is a Canadian citizen living in China. The other brother lives in Canada most of the time, according to the police.
The Ministry of Public Security designated police in Chongqing to take the lead in the case, detaining the brothers on February 18.
The police said that in a videotaped confession, the brothers admitted that Guo paid them to forge classified documents, including one purportedly issued by the party’s National Security Commission on the Occupy Central protests in Hong Kong in September 2014.
A police spokesman said the authorities would work with US law enforcement on the matter. “We believe US law enforcement will not tolerate such criminal behaviour,” the spokesman said.
The accusations on Monday were part of Beijing’s year-long campaign to discredit Guo, which has included lodging an Interpol red notice for him and opening an investigation into sexual assault allegations. The alleged victim lodged a civil suit in New York in September demanding US$140 million in compensation, which the victim’s New York-based lawyer said could derail Guo’s asylum application.
There is no extradition treaty between the US and China, and any attempt repatriate a Chinese fugitive from the United States would have to be the product of bilateral talks.
It is unclear if Beijing and Washington are in talks over the matter.
The New York Times reported last week that Elliott Broidy, a top Republican fundraiser, planned to prod the administration of US President Donald Trump to extradite Guo to the United Arab Emirates, where Guo has a business dispute.
Citing a memo by Broidy, the report said the UAE might then agree to deliver Guo to China because it believed he owed US$3 billion to Emirati investment funds. In exchange, the Chinese might pay off that debt, Broidy wrote.
Broidy has denied the report.
Guo has also met with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, according to images Guo posted on his Twitter account in October. Guo claimed to have had a 3½-hour dinner with Bannon, and had asked for his approval to post the pictures.
The Twitter post came a month after Bannon was reported to have met Wang Qishan in Beijing.