(Beijing) A Canadian businessman of Chinese origin was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison for a series of financial crimes and his company was fined 8.1 billion, a Chinese court announced.
Posted at 6:21 am
Shanghai Intermediate People’s Court No. Xiao Jianhua was found guilty of defrauding the social network account of billions of dollars in deposits with banks and insurance companies and offering bribes to officials.
Mr Xiao was last seen in a Hong Kong hotel in January 2017 and was reportedly taken to the Chinese mainland by Chinese authorities. News agencies later reported that he was being questioned by anti-corruption officials, but did not disclose details.
The Canadian government said diplomats were barred from attending the July 5 hearing.
Tomorrow Group, a company controlled by Xiao Jianhua, has been linked to a series of anti-corruption lawsuits and seizures of financial companies by regulators.
Xiao Jianhua’s disappearance comes amid a wave of lawsuits against Chinese businessmen accused of misconduct.
This fueled speculation that the ruling Communist Party could abduct people outside the mainland. Hong Kong has banned Chinese police from operating in the former British colony, which has a separate legal system.
Since then, Beijing has tightened control over Hong Kong, drawing complaints that it is violating the autonomy promised when the territory was handed over to China in 1997. The Communist Party imposed a national security law on Hong Kong in 2020 and jailed pro-democracy activists. .
Hong Kong police have investigated Xiao Jianhua’s disappearance and said he crossed the border to the mainland.
At the time of his disappearance, Mr Xiao was worth about 6 billion, placing him in 32nd placee China’s richest person, the list of the country’s richest people according to Hurun Report.
In 2020, regulators seized nine companies controlled by Xiao.