justice confiscates nine Bordeaux wine châteaux belonging to a Chinese magnate

justice confiscates nine Bordeaux wine châteaux belonging to a Chinese magnate
justice confiscates nine Bordeaux wine châteaux belonging to a Chinese magnate

By Le Figaro with AFP

Published
4 hours ago,

Update 1 hour ago

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Badly acquired, nine Bordeaux vineyards were confiscated from Chinese tycoon Naijie Qu by the Paris judicial court on Wednesday. The amount of debts and confiscated property amounts to 35.5 million euros.

The Paris judicial court on Wednesday ordered the confiscation of nine castles in the Bordeaux vineyards acquired in the early 2010s. They belonged to a Chinese tycoon who was convicted of laundering the embezzlement of Chinese public funds. In this case emblematic of the problems posed by the financialization of agricultural companies, the amount of debts and confiscated property amounts to 35.5 million euros.

A matter of “ill-gotten good” for which Naijie Qu, 63, boss of the Haichang group who made his fortune in oil and amusement parks in Dailan in northern China, was sentenced to three years in prison and a fine of one million Euros. A sum well above the 400,000 euros fine requested by prosecutor Patrice Amar during the hearing in February, in addition to a four-year suspended prison sentence. His employee Jian Liu, 54, received an 18-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 50,000 euros for forgery, use of forgery and fraud, in accordance with the requisitions. The investigation by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) revealed falsified notarial acts, “behavior which is normally settled before a criminal court”thundered President Pierre Jeanjean while rendering the court’s decision.

Read alsoThe threat of downy mildew once again looms over the Bordeaux vineyards

27 wine properties purchased in 5 years

Landed in Bordeaux in 2009, the “discreet” Mr. Qu, as described by the daily South West by revealing ten years ago that he was in the crosshairs of the Chinese Court of Auditors, had purchased 27 wine properties in five years. Abandoned and loss-making castles, he assured French investigators in writing. The nine confiscated castles, put by the Chinese tycoon in the name of his wife in Hong Kong, had been acquired through complex financial arrangements involving loans from the French branch of the largest Chinese bank ICBC, a host of companies with English names exuberant like “Vast Fortune”, “Golden Finder” “Major Billion” Or “Silver Emperor”the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands and games of compensation of reciprocal debts and receivables.

To obtain them, Naijie Qu was also accused of having diverted subsidies intended to buy foreign companies in the field of science and technology. “We gave them a bad fate”said M.e Maxime Delhomme, lawyer for the two Chinese nationals at the end of the hearing. The lawyer who believes that with confiscation, his clients “get fleeced twice”plans to appeal.

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