Key says President Xi Jingping asked for NZ help to extradite number of corrupt Chinese officials living in NZ with ill-gotten gains; working on extradition treaty

Key says President Xi Jingping asked for NZ help to extradite number of corrupt Chinese officials living in NZ with ill-gotten gains; working on extradition treaty

By Bernard Hickey

Prime Minister John Key has disclosed he had talks with President Xi Jingping last month about extraditing a number of Chinese nationals who the Chinese Government believed had fled to New Zealand with corruptly obtained funds.

Key said the Government was in early discussions with China about signing a modified extradition treaty that would allow the extradition of such officials and associates, as long as New Zealand's concerns about human rights and China's use of the death penalty were taken into account.

"He did raise the broader issue of concerns that the Chinese have about nationals that may come to a country like New Zealand and other countries around the world with money that he would claim is not theirs, and it's from a variety of activities," Key told his last post-cabinet news conference for the year. 

"He indicated he thought there were a few people that were in New Zealand," Key said.

"They're certainly keen to get a few people back from New Zealand," he said, adding he was not aware of formal cases except for one involving allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Operation Foxhunt

Key's comments followed an FT report in September that the Chinese Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) had included people linked to former vice mayor of Guangzhou, Cao Jianlao, in its 'Operation Foxhunt', which is a programme to hunt down and extradite corrupt officials and their associates from countries all over the world.

President Xi has made a corruption crackdown known as a hunt for "tigers and flies" a centrepiece of his leadership programme.

The FT reported that Tan Bingzhao, a New Zealand citizen and prominent Guangzhou property developer, is alleged to have paid big bribes to Cao and his relatives to buy land cheaply and win contracts. Cao's wife and mistress were living in New Zealand when Cao was detained by officials in September.

"Following a CCDI investigation, which was able to extract a confession from Mr Cao, the Chinese government has asked Wellington for information on these New Zealand-based assets and to interview these residents and citizens on New Zealand soil," the FT's Jamil Anderlini reported in September. He added investigators had accused Cao of corruption of up to US$43 million and having at least 11 mistresses.

He reported the CCDI was an extra-judicial body with the power to indefinitely detain party officials and had been accused of torture and politically motivated investigations. China also uses the death penalty in cases of corruption.

Key would not give details of the specific concerns raised by President Xi or the exact number of Chinese nationals being sought.

"It's a reasonable number that they believe may in New Zealand with those kinds of resources," Key said.

"They are very keen to progress their extradition treaty," he said.

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Does this matter get very complecated if a "fox" has ready become a NZ citizen ?

Only when the finger-wagging latte-sipping chattering class gets involved

Foxes, fox-hunts, and fox-holes - you do know where the fox-hole is

So, an admition by our Prime Minister that the proceeds of corruption, or "black money" is circulating in our economy. These guys are just the tip of the iceberg. Real estate in NZ is still exempt from the new anti-money laundering laws and many an Auckland house has been bought with the proceeds of crime. I just wish a real journalist would take a good look at it.

Well whadd'ya know

China is new zealand's largest trading partner
President Xi Jingping comes to town and says "this is what he wants", do you think that's what he's gonna get?
You betcha
Pity it takes an outsider to do the dirty work for us - when it's so ostentatious - so in ya face. Ostensibly Canada and Australia require wealthy individuals to prove the provenance of the wealth they bring in - apparently no so in new zealand - example - KDC

Here is an example of a Kiwi couple who sold up in New Zealand and took their funds to Australia - the Australian Tax Office asked them to prove the source of their funds - they didn't or couldn't - so the ATO stung them nearly $3 million in tax

Sieze their assets and get them out of here ASAP.  Then institute Aussie-type wealth importing laws.

This pot of soup has been simmering away for 5 years here, but, only when President Xi comes along, 5 years later, does it get any traction. In the mean-time look at the social damage it has done to NZ society. This is deja-vu Horatio Nelson and his blind eye stuff. Don't see. Don't know. Don't tell. Don't care
John Key and Bill English. Can't do. Too hard. Not happening

An official, genuine JV investigation effort and extradition treaty would do more to cool things in Auckland property than LVR ratios I'm betting

Early on in the article Key says "..there were a few people.. " and then later on he says, ".. It's a reasonable number .."
My interpretation - it's a big (i.e., hundreds of millions) problem.

I'd say in the billion plus bracket. It never stacked up. Supposed US$50,000 limit on foreign transfers pa yet that RE website guy just said their average purchase price in NZ was NZ$1.4m. Have they been "saving" for 20 years?
NZ banks are supposed to check provenance of funds but do they have a "real" look?
Or what about the high rollers Sky City flies in. I said here a few weeks ago that Key should offer NZ's help to track down the black money but wouldn't do it because of the effect on property market and by extension the banks. How will he fudge this?

Hmm. Makes this little "deal" struck behind closed doors not all that long ago by JK & Co. even that much more suspect;
.. the New Zealand government has done a deal with an airline [China Southern] to provide unique advantage to members of their high-status air miles club in gaining a New Zealand visa, so that their customers might, in the words of a leaked memo "avoid the necessity to answer questions relating to financial backing and employment history and provide evidence of these".
It's not just the increased risk of "imported criminality" that the change entails, as Immigration New Zealand's national manager of intelligence and risk put it another leaked memo. It's also the, you know, principle.
Obviously Immigration NZ had the intel and knew the score - and Key & Co. ignored it. Talk about a train wreck.

La la la. Fingers in ears. See no evil, hear no evil. That plan should have set off alarm bells but it was in everyones interest not to look too closely. Key has a long track record of not reading or thinking too deeply about anything inconvenient. Can't help but think it is mostly to support the too big to fail banks and Auckland property market. No wonder they don't want a property register or hard statistics.
Chris Tremain, Hawkes Bay property magnate/investor and ex Nat MP just been made Chairman of new Chinese Bank here, despite no banking experience (along with Ruth Richardson) with an express mandate to increase Chinese investment in residential property in NZ

There are a lot of really questionable decisions gone through that could only be bribery or threats - from who, nobody knows.

Hey it maybe why china not buyng our WMP
If they did the crime they should do the time no matter the time and place
You do a crime in a duristiction you suffer the laws that prevail
Key hang em out to dry.

It's a hard call.

While it's good to get criminals out.... it's a hard call when the country doing so includes whistleblowers and political opponents or dissentors as "criminals"

True. And revelations like this
Having said that, corrupt officials and launderers know the risk - that's why they are transferring money and family abroad

Oh gross!!!!!!!!!!!!

Was just thinking how to word a sentiment just about exactly like that, cowboy. Indeed, who are the corrupt and who are the dissidents?
Although I would wonder if the number of zeros on the bank account might be some sort of indication.

Well, that will be a problem for Key.  It is going to make a significant hole in his political donations.  On the other hand, how much would you pay for ...............................

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