18 Oct 2011

Bankrupt businesswoman charged with corruption

2:00 pm on 18 October 2011

Officials in Hong Kong have charged bankrupt businesswoman May Wang with corruption.

Her company, UBNZ Funds Management, was seeking to buy the Crafar farms on behalf of Natural Dairy of Hong Kong.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption in Hong Kong has charged her with conspiring to bribe officials with two Auckland properties and money laundering of more than $150 million.

The commission has also issued a warrant for the arrest of Jack Chen, a former executive director of Natural Dairy.

The Serious Fraud Office, which has been investigating the case with its Hong Kong counterparts, says there is clear evidence of offending having occurred in New Zealand.

But the SFO says it is appropriate for the authorities in Hong Kong to lay the charges because the alleged offences were primarily directed at Hong Kong and Chinese investors.

Three charges were laid on Monday against May Hao (formerly known as May Wang), and an arrest warrant was also issued against her co-accused, Chen Keen (also known as Jack Chen).