Rich-list businessman held on fraud charges

Updated: 2007-05-29 13:41

BEIJING - Chinese police have arrested a businessman once listed as one of the country's 100 richest men on fraud charges, state media reported on Tuesday.

sun shuhua
Sun Shuhua [File]
Sun Shuhua was arrested on Monday in the central province of Henan suspected of swindling 1.36 billion yuan ($177.9 million) from several banks using fake financial reports, state television said on its Web site, citing a local newspaper report.

Sun, a delegate to the Henan provincial parliament and former plastics' recycler, was listed in 80th place on the 2004 Hurun China Rich List, with estimated wealth of $170 million.

"The reason for his success depended on borrowing money from banks," the newspaper report said. "His common tricks were to use illegal or fake land certificates to borrow the money."

Sun could not be reached for comment and calls to his company, Hualin Group, were not answered.

The police also found that a large amount of money from the company had either gone missing or had been transferred to personal accounts, the report said.

China is in the middle of a crackdown on official corruption, which the ruling Communist Party has warned is so widespread it could threaten its credibility.

It is not the first time China's new crop of millionaires, who have got rich off the back of the country's booming economy, have fallen foul of the law.

Shanghai property tycoon Zhou Zhengyi was arrested on corruption charges in January, just months after he finished a three-year prison sentence for stock market fraud and falsifying documents.

Zhou, once named China's 11th richest man with an estimated worth of $320 million, was charged with bribery and forging sales tax receipts, according to state media.

($1=7.644 Yuan)

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