A controversial Chinese businessman who has been living in New Zealand for more than a decade has been arrested upon his return to China.
William Yan, also known as Bill Liu and Yang Liu, was detained after arriving at Capital International Airport in Beijing on Saturday, according to the Government-run press agency Xinhua. Read more »
Yong Ming Yan
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 »
With the Prime Minister now talking openly about stripping Yong Ming Yan/Bill Liu/Yang Liu of his citizenship:
The Prime Minister says New Zealand citizenship could be stripped from a mysterious Chinese millionaire who obtained a New Zealand passport despite multiple identities.
But it would require the use of special discretionary powers.
Everyone knows that “Yong Ming Yan” or “Bill Liu” isn’t who he says he is.
It’s now an open secret he uses a variety of different names, identities and aliases, including to obtain a New Zealand passport, and he was helped by his friends in the Labour Party.
Despite this, he still remains a New Zealand citizen. So the question is: does this damage the integrity of the Kiwi passport?
“That’s probably the reason why this matter is now before the Auditor General and clearly Shane Jones has got some big questions to answer,” says Prime Minister John Key.
It isn’t just Shane Jones that needs to answer some questions as well. But before he answers those questions he needs to sit down Shane Jones and get to Dover Samuels and Rick Barker and ask them the following questions…and not just take their fob off answers…he needs to really dig down intot he questions in case they come back to bite him on the arse.
So what are those questions he needs to ask?
- Did Dover Samuels, Rick Barker and Shane Jones ever receive any donation to or for their campaign/election accounts? If so were they declared?
- Have they received any payments either directly or indirectly via close relatives into an account controlled by themselves or controlled by a close relative?
- If such payments were received were they declared to IRD, the Electoral Commission and/or other statutory authorities?
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.
Patrick Gower has released more information on his blog about the shabby dealings concerning Bill Liu/Yong Ming Yan. It appears now that it involves more Chinese billionaires and a coup plotter.
Now here’s a twist – the mystery Chinese millionaire, Bill Liu/Yong Ming Yan, is linked to an even more controversial Chinese billionaire caught up in a massive political scandal that is rocking the Communist Party to its core.
That link is through a man called Xu Ming – one of richest men in China.
Xu Ming is big time – touted as a potential Chinese Finance Minister before a foiled coup plot.
And Liu/Yan is apparently so close he even bought Xu Ming into New Zealand for a visit at one point.
Now political scandals don’t get much bigger than the one going on in China that Xu Ming is connected to.
It’s all about fallen Chinese Communist Party high-flyer Bo Xilai touted as a future leader of the Communist Party – stripped of his post while his wife is probed for the murder of a British national.
And Xu Ming was one of Bo Xilai’s closet allies.
According to this Wall Street Journal article, Xu Ming has been missing since late March – amid reports he was arrested for corruption.
Hmm…that kind of makes a lie of Bill Liu’s claims of being executed if he was extradited…he knew all the top guys in China.
Documents I obtained under the Official Information Act show Liu boasted of his connections to Xu Ming back in 2005:
“In November 2005 he will host two very important businessmen from China. One of the visitors will be Mr. Xu Ming whom is listed as the 8th wealthiest person in China with a reported wealth of over $1.5 billion dollars.”
This was all in a submission to the New Zealand Immigration Service to try and prevent his residency being revoked.
The links with Xu Ming raise some interesting questions:
- Why was Bill Liu/Yong Ming Yan so fearful of going back to China if he had connections with people so close to the very top of the Communist Party?
- Why was Bill Liu /Yong Ming Yan – who claims to be a leader of the Chinese Democracy movement – prepared to host such people out in New Zealand?
It is – like much of this case – incongruous.
Perhaps David Shearer might like to ask those questions. It is certainly looking very shabby, though I am starting to think that Shane Jones may well have been set up by his pals in the Labour party to take the fall for this when it all came out.
Patrick Gower (still not calling him Pedro) has been like a dog with a bone chasing the Bill Liu story. It is now starting to get very smelly:
But Mr Jones had a different view. He granted Mr Yan citizenship on humanitarian grounds, believing he would be executed if returned to China.
The documents also detail a raid on Mr Yan’s apartment in the Metropolis tower. They show there was plenty of interest in taking part – not just from immigration – but also the Police’s Asian Crime Squad, Internal Affairs, Customs, the Serious Fraud Office, Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Fisheries.
Authorities were also informed by Internal Affairs that Mr Yan “is spending literally millions of dollars at the casino and associating with known criminals.”
So officials here and in China were working on having Mr Yan extradited. Then, at complete cross-purposes, Mr Jones’ decision meant Mr Yan got citizenship here in a special ceremony at Parliament. That decision is now under investigation by the Auditor-General – and Mr Jones declined to comment today.
The Bill Liu/Shane Jones cash for citizenship scandal refuses to die down with new information being drip fed into the media. This morning’s Herald has details of the shenanigans in China to obtain new identities by Bill Liu.
A Chinese millionaire with multiple identities is accused by Chinese witnesses of corruptly obtaining false identity documents which he used to gain New Zealand citizenship.
The Auditor-General last week started an inquiry into how William Yan – also known as Yongming Yan and Yang Liu – was granted citizenship.
China claims Yan’s real name is Yongming Yan and that he created the false identity of Yang Liu and used documents in that name to leave China, where he is wanted on allegations of multimillion-dollar fraud.
Nine Chinese witnesses gave statements to New Zealand authorities about how Mr Yan allegedly obtained fictitious documents including Chinese passports and ID cards, and household registration documents.
It is claimed that Mr Yan was able to use his links to unnamed politicians in China to influence officials to provide the false documents.
The statements were provided in 2009 when Auckland police officers went to China.
They are on the Auckland High Court file but the witnesses did not come to New Zealand to testify.
The judge in the Bill Liu case has released his written judgement and it isn’t good reading for Shane Jones.
A High Court judge has ruled that the way Chinese millionaire Yong Ming Yan was granted citizenship was “highly suspicious”.
Justice Timothy Brewer has just published his full written verdict against Yan – also known as Liu Yang and Bill Liu – who last week was found not guilty on charges of using documents to fraudulently gain immigration status and citizenship.
Then acting Internal Affairs Minister Shane Jones granted citizenship despite the Department of Internal Affairs advising against it.
The Labour MP has been stood down from the party’s front bench pending an investigation as to why citizenship was granted.
Justice Brewer said looking at the evidence as a whole, “it proves a situation that is highly suspicious”.
Rob Hosking isn’t so generous:
“It’s clear, from what is on the public record, that the likelihood of Mr Liu passing any objective good character test may be about as high as Kim Dotcom becoming Weight Watcher of the Year”
Here is the paragraph from the judgement:
The Auditor General has announced that she will investogate Shane jones over the Bill Liu cash for citizenship scandal:
The Office of the Auditor General has announced it will conduct an inquiry into Labour MP Shane Jones’ decision to grant citizenship to Yong Ming Yan in 2008.
A statement from the Office of the Auditor General said Francis Cooke QC would lead the inquiry into Mr Jones decision to grant citizenship against the advice of Department of Internal Affairs officials who had said he did not meet good character requirements, had multiple identities and was under investigation by Immigration at the time.
The terms of reference include the policies and practices of the Department of Internal Affairs in advising Mr Jones, how and why Mr Jones decided to grant citizenship and any other matters the Auditor General considered desirable.
The OAG noted that the inquiry was being done with the agreement of Mr Jones, who has not commented on the decision. The decision on Yan was delegated to Mr Jones by then Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker who passed it on due to a potential conflict of interest because he knew Yan.
Contrary to David Shearer’s request to just look at the decision process the Auditor General will also look at teh decision and will presumably investigate Jones’ claims of torture, death and organ harvesting for Bill Liu should he be sent back to China.
This of course is where Jones is in terrible trouble because as a Permanent Resident there was no possibility of Bill Liu being sent to China just because he didn’t get citizenship.
The Dompost editorial is scathing of the cash for citizenship scandal currently enveloping the Labour party. In particular the woeful leadership of David Shearer and the pathetic excuses of Shane Jones:
It is a toss-up which is more embarrassing for the Labour Party – former associate immigration minister Shane Jones’ explanation for granting citizenship to a shadowy Chinese millionaire with multiple identities or leader David Shearer’s initial acceptance of that explanation.
According to Mr Jones he granted citizenship to Yong Ming Yan, otherwise known as Bill Liu, because an official told him Mr Yan would be arrested, executed and his “organs harvested” if he returned to China.
According to Mr Shearer, he chose not to take action after speaking to Mr Jones about the case because the process by which the former minister ignored official advice appeared “considered and proper”.
It was not till others pointed out the incongruity of Mr Jones’ claims that Mr Yan’s life was at risk if he was denied citizenship and Mr Yan’s claims to have fostered better relations between New Zealand and China that the Labour leader decided to stand Mr Jones down as a party spokesman and ask the auditor-general to investigate.