Jiang Zemin urged to probe nephew’s fraud


HONG KONG, AFP

A rights group called on mainland Chinese President Jiang Zemin Monday to look into unresolved financial irregularities involving his nephew, ahead of his visit to attend a global economic forum in Hong Kong.

Tai Zhan, Jiang’s nephew, is reportedly embroiled in an 11.5 million yuan (US$1.4 million) real estate scandal in eastern Jiangsu province.

“We call on Jiang Zemin to investigate the … scandal of his own nephew,” the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said in a statement released here.

“We believe that Jiang Zemin has a certain responsibility on this matter since the politburo has several times in the past issued directive to bar children and relatives of leaders from engaging in businesses, stock and property speculations.”

The center reported on March 31 that Tai had been accused of forging the seal of the Yangzhou Gangzhan Real Estate Company and mortgaging 45 of the company’s apartments with the Yangzhou Industrial and Commerce Bank.

He was forced to mortgage the properties to meet payments on 11.5 million yuan in loans he took out from the bank through several different companies, the center said.

An official at the Yangzhou Industrial and Commercial Bank has confirmed the incident took place.

Tai had previously co-managed the Yangzhou Gangzhan Real Estate Co. with an unnamed Hong Kong businessman. The two later split up, with the Hong Kong businessman taking certain properties and the company seal.

After finding out the apartments had been mortgaged, the Hong Kong businessmen sued Tai and the Yangzhou Housing Administrative Bureau, a government organ which was responsible for issuing property certificates.

According to the rights center, the Guangling district court in Yangzhou investigated the case and found the seal was forged and the property illegally transferred.

The court was preparing to rule in favor of the Hong Kong businessman, but the Communist Party of Yangzhou stepped in and ordered the trial to be halted, the centre said.

Jiang’s younger sister Jiang Zeling is Tai’s mother.

The mainland Chinese president is due in Hong Kong on Tuesday to attend a forum of leading government and business leaders.

Other keynote speakers include former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.