Fugitive extradited to Hong Kong to face criminal charges

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HONG KONG — The director of a property development company, wanted by the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) for allegedly offering bribes to a bank officer and laundering crime proceeds, has been extradited from the United States to Hong Kong to face trial. He arrived in Hong Kong Thursday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assisted with the investigation that led to the extradition.

Zeng Wei, 51, a major shareholder and director of United Win Holdings Limited, was arrested Jan. 27 by HSI special agents. Zeng later waived his right for the extradition proceedings in the United States and agreed to surrender himself to Hong Kong voluntarily.

With the assistance of the U.S. authorities, two ICAC officers escorted Zeng on a flight from the United States to Hong Kong. Zeng will be brought to the district court in Hong Kong this afternoon.

On Jan. 16, HSI informed the ICAC that a person named Liu Zhiqian was arrested in Saipan for immigration-related offenses when he attempted to enter the U.S. territory. That person was Zeng. The ICAC requested the United States surrender Zeng under an agreement between the government of Hong Kong and the United States regarding the surrender of fugitive offenders.

Zeng was charged by the ICAC on Oct. 7, 2010, with various offenses, including bribing an agent and conspiracy to deal with property resulting from criminal activity.

On Oct. 5, 2010, Zeng offered $2.3 million to Derick Chan Po-fui, former head of the Corporate Banking Department of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), as a reward for assisting in extending the repayment due dates of the loans owed by Zeng and/or his companies to ICBC.

Zeng was also accused of conspiring with Derick Chan to use the $2.3 million on the same day, knowing that it represented the proceeds of an indictable offense. On Sept. 25, 2008, Zeng offered a mobile phone to Derick Chan for the same purpose.

After Zeng failed to appear in the district court July 4, 2011, for trial, the court issued a warrant for his arrest. On Aug. 24, 2011, the court also ordered a seizure notice for Zeng's bail money totaling $800,000.

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