Gome Case Highlights Cross-border Difficulties

The Financial Times gives an update on the case against tycoon Huang Guangyu, who is being investigated both in Hong Kong and on the mainland. The court in Hong Kong is having difficulty proceeding with the case as access to Huang, who is detained in China, is limited, the report says. Rumors are rife in Hong Kong that Huang is still able to conduct business through his company, Electronics, while under detention; Gome recently issued a statement in which the company thanked, “government authorities, in particular the Beijing Public Security bureau, for their creative support and facilitation”:

The apparent failure to make contact with the former chairman of Gome Electrical Appliance, cited on Tuesday by Justice Susan Kwan in a Hong Kong High Court hearing into an asset-freeze order, highlights how investigations in the territory can run into a brick wall at the border.

Mr Huang, one of China’s richest men, was detained last year in Beijing for vaguely defined “economic crimes”. He and his wife, Du Juan, have also been charged by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission with “fraud or deception” in connection with a 2008 share buy-back.

Winston Poon, barrister for Mr Huang’s two holding companies, told the court: “The is a long way down the road because the defendants in the matter are being detained in the PRC” . Mr Huang, also known as Wong Kwong-yu, and Ms Du were not represented at yesterday’s hearing.

Hong Kong, although a Chinese special administrative region, does not have an extradition arrangement with the mainland.

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