Top Australian entrepreneur detained in China over ‘embezzlement’ charges

November 26th, 2010 - 1:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Guangzhou (China), Nov 26(ANI): A leading Australian businessmen in China has been detained in Guangzhou on suspicion of embezzlement after a reported dispute with his Chinese business partner.

Guangzhou police have not laid charges against the man, Matthew Ng, or revealed their reasons for holding him. His application for bail has been rejected.

Matthew is the Chief Executive of Et-China, a leading travel services group.

The company is based in the tax haven of Jersey and listed on the AIM stock exchange in London and has a joint venture with China’s biggest airline, the state-owned China Southern.

A statement by Matthew’s company said that the 44-year-old was picked up on November 16, and is now being questioned in relation to allegations of asset embezzlement.

The travel agency firm added that the Guangzhou police force is currently holding the businessman in custody as an inquiry on the alleged incident gets underway.

“At present, Et-China has no further information about the cause of his detention. As far as Et-China is aware . . . Matthew Ng has not been charged with any offence,” the Herald Sun quoted statement, as saying.

The case follows the arrest and subsequent conviction earlier this year of four employees of mining giant Rio Tinto for bribery and infringing trade secrets.

The case raised worries over the vulnerability of employees of foreign companies to often selective enforcement of the country’s vague state secrets and corruption laws.

Australian citizen Stern Hu, who at the time was in charge of Rio Tinto’s troubled iron ore price negotiations with China was sentenced in April to 10 years in prison while three colleagues were imprisoned for seven to 14 years. (ANI)

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