William Yan

Connect the dots

An Auckland businessman who had $40 million of assets seized this year has told the High Court he gave away a Rolls Royce.

Yan, who has also gone by the name Bill Liu, yesterday applied to get living expenses out of assets that were restrained by the police in August because of his alleged involvement in money laundering.

As part of the police’s opposition to this application, lawyer Mark Harborow questioned Yan in the High Court at Auckland today about his business dealings and assets.

Harborow questioned the businessman about a 2012 Rolls Royce, which was held in a company for Yan’s family trust.

Asked if he gave the luxury vehicle away, Yan said – through an interpreter – that he had.

“You’re not owed any money or other benefit for the car?” Harborow asked.

“Absolutely not,” Yan replied through his interpreter. Read more »

Bill Liu is in the news again, for all the wrong reasons

Bill Liu is in the news again after getting raided by the cops.

Jared Savage has the details:

Police have raided the luxury penthouse of a multimillionaire businessman granted citizenship in controversial circumstances and seized his assets because of alleged involvement in money laundering.

William Yan – also previously known as Bill Liu, Yang Liu and Yong Ming Yan – lives on the 35th floor of Auckland’s Metropolis tower. Residents saw detectives removing items from his home on Thursday.

Millions of dollars worth of assets the police allege belong to Mr Yan – although officially registered in other people’s names – have been seized, including the apartment, worth more than $2 million, a Mercedes-Benz, and shares and bank accounts.

Mr Yan has spent millions of dollars as a high roller in the SkyCity Casino VIP lounge.    Read more »

Shane Jones cleared? Not likely, that’s Labour’s spin

Labour has spent countless hours attacking National for commenting on an Auditor-General’s report ahead of release then do the same thing? This is the second time they have spun that Shane Jones is cleared:

List MP Shane Jones is expected to return to Labour’s front bench tomorrow, after the release of an auditor-general’s report into the Bill Liu immigration saga.

Labour leader David Shearer has held open the seventh slot in his line-up and the regional development, forestry and associate finance roles for Jones pending the outcome of the review.

Insiders familiar with an earlier draft of Auditor-General Lyn Provost’s report said it cleared Jones of any unlawful behaviour in approving citizenship for Bill Liu, also known as Yong Ming Yan and William Yan.  Read more »

Evidence mounting

Jared Savage in the NZ Herald reveals more information about the dodgy decision to fast track Bill Liu’s citizenship by ministers and MPs in the Labour party.

I can’t hardly wait for the report of the Auditor-General:

Emails obtained under the Official Information Act reveal a senior Immigration NZ investigator wrote to Mr Ross after learning of the decision.

Russell Ogilvy asked whether Mr Ross recommended that citizenship be declined and whether he had told Mr Jones “to speak with his own department regarding the decision”.

Mr Jones was the Acting Internal Affairs Minister in this case but also the Associate Immigration Minister.

“The minister was advised of both the pending police and INZ investigations,” responded Mr Ross.

Despite his recommendation, Mr Jones granted citizenship subject to Mr Liu taking the oath of allegiance.

Mr Ogilvy then asked Mr Ross to tell him when the citizenship ceremony would be held.

The emails also reveal that Mr Jones granted Mr Liu an urgent private ceremony at the request of Labour MP Dover Samuels, despite the advice of another DIA official that he did not meet the criteria.

Mr Samuels also wrote three earlier letters lobbying for Mr Liu’s citizenship application.

The VIP ceremony was held in a room at Parliament days after Mr Jones’ decision in his favour.

The next day he applied for an urgent passport, then changed his name to William Yan.

 

Smelly as a smelly thing

ᔥ NZ Herald

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.

Anyone squirming yet?

ᔥ Stuff.co.nz

Finally the Bill Liu case has made its way through the court system and is finally being heard.

A millionaire naturalised Chinese New Zealander who used senior political connections to win citizenship has gone on trial in the High Court, Auckland, today on five charges linked to claims he created a false identity.

In a case that has been before the court for nearly two years, Yong Ming Yan, 41, has pleaded not guilty to five charges over claims he created a false identity in China to get citizenship.

Justice Timothy Brewer is hearing the case without a jury.

Originally Yan was charged with 12 offences but these, the court heard, had been reduced due to issues with evidence from China.

Yan, also known as William Yan, Bill Liu and Yang Liu, arrived in 2001.

He got citizenship with letters of support and lobbying from Labour’s Dover Samuels and Chris Carter as well as National’s Pansy Wong.

The Department of Internal Affairs opposed citizenship saying with two passports, two names and two birth dates they did not know who he was. Then Immigration Minister David Cunliffe over-ruled and granted citizenship.

A large donor to the Labour party, his private VIP citizenship ceremony held in the Maori Affairs Select Committee room and ministers ignoring official advice..David Cunliffe and Shane Jones are the only ones left standing in this sorry affair. I wonder if perhaps they might be a bit worried.

We can at least look forward to three weeks of political intrigue as the trial unfolds.