Arrest Warrant Issued For Asian Investment Commissioner In Solomons

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Chinese businessman accused of failing to pay for timber shipments

By Bradford Theonomi

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 15, 2013) – Solomon Islands’ commerce and investment commissioner to Mainland China, Hong Kong, Makau, and Asia is facing a legal suit and police arrest.

Wong Yim Kau, who also owns a company called China Jin Bang Investment, was accused of failing to transfer more than $14 million [US$1.9 million] for 20 containers of tubi timber sent to him July last year.

Chung Sol Limited, a company owned by Taiwanese Michael Mai Yung Fu, which is operating here, filed the law suit at the High Court in a bid to reclaim payment for the 20 containers.

Fu also opened a criminal case on the matter with the police.

Court documents the Sunday Star obtained showed Chung Sol Limited and China Jin Bang investment had a sales and purchase agreement between them.

Under the agreement, Chung Sol would sell sawn tubi to Jin Bang Investment at an agreed price.

In July last year, Chung Sol exported its first 10 containers of tubi to Jin Bang Investment at an agreed price of USD$1 million (SBD$7 million).

A month later in August, Chung Sol sent another 10 containers, also worth USD$1 million (SBD$7 million).

But Chung Sol director Fu said since then, Jin Bang Investment has not transferred a single cent for the 20 containers.

"I’ve contacted investment commissioner Wong Yim Kau numerous times about the payments," Fu said.

"He kept promising to send the payments over but he never did until today.

"We knew Wong Yim Kau and his partners have lied to us," Fu said.

He said the non-payment has affected his business, and this is why he decided to file the case to reclaim his money.

Wong Yim Kau, whom cabinet appointed to be the country’s commerce and investment commissioner July last year, could not be located for comments as he was overseas.

But the Sunday understands police have written to the Director of Immigration informing him of their intention to arrest Kau any time he arrives at Henderson Airport.

In the letter, which the Sunday Star has obtained, dated 10 December 2013, acting deputy director of the Criminal Investigation Department Chris Harirao said his office plans to arrest Kau on arrival and detain him in custody while awaiting court hearing.

"His passport will also be retrieved by our office while his court case is in progress," Harirao said.

Kau was here in November last year during which he signed a memorandum of understanding with the government.

As Solomon Islands’ commerce and investment commissioner, he will represent the Government of Solomon Islands to invite and to attract foreign investment into the country.

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