The Bill Liu/Yong Ming affair is getting smellier and smellier. You rally have to wonder how much money this guy gave to Labour to get the sort of pretection he did:
Seven government agencies wanted to join a raid on Metropolis tower apartments owned by a wealthy Chinese businessman later granted citizenship in controversial circumstances.
A search warrant was executed on the apartments owned by Bill Liu – also known as Yang Liu, Yong Ming Yan and now William Yan – on the 35th floor of the tower in Auckland in June 2007.
Officers took more than an hour to search individual rooms, such were their size.
He was under investigation by the Department of Labour for immigration fraud at the time and documents released under the Official Information Act show that other law enforcement agencies wanted to be part of any raid at the property.
The police were going to execute the warrant with Immigration officers alone – until approached by the Ministry of Fisheries, the Department of Internal Affairs, Customs, the Serious Fraud Office and the Inland Revenue Department.
Eventually, the group decided that 13 investigators from the police, Immigration, Customs, IRD and Internal Affairs would search the Metropolis apartments and cars.
“The number of staff reflected the size of the residential area to be searched – five units in a hotel and three vehicles,” according to documents released by Immigration New Zealand.
However, “no documents were seized and/or evidence retained as a result of the search warrant.”
Mr Yan later complained, through his lawyer, that customs officials stepped outside the authority of the warrant by taking photographs inside the apartment.
The raid happened at the same time as Labour MP David Cunliffe, the Immigration Minister at the time, was considering an application from officials to have Mr Yan’s residency revoked.
The grounds for revocation were that he had failed to disclose the Yong Min Yang identity, the fact that he was married in Australia and was wanted by the Chinese authorities on an alleged fraud.
Mr Cunliffe declined to revoke his residency and asked officials to continue investigating the potential immigration fraud.
The following year, Mr Yan was granted New Zealand citizenship by Labour Party minister Shane Jones against the advice of officials that he did not meet the good character test, because he had two passports with two names and two birthdates, and was wanted in China for an alleged large-scale fraud.