China’s foreign ministry said yesterday that Interpol has issued a “red notice” seeking the arrest of Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire who has threatened to expose corruption at the highest levels of the ruling Communist Party.
Guo is a Forbes rich-lister who shot to international prominence last month when it was revealed the 50-year-old was a member of US President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang gave no details about Guo’s alleged crimes when announcing the Interpol notice, the Associated Press reports.
Yesterday, scmp.com, quoting unidentified sources, said that Guo was suspected of bribing disgraced former state security vice-minister Ma Jian with 60 million yuan.
The real estate tycoon disappeared from public view in 2014 but resurfaced in recent months, claiming in two interviews with overseas Chinese media and a stream of Twitter posts that he held damning information about party elites.
His case has been closely followed by Chinese political watchers, who say his leaks could be potentially damaging as internal factions jostle for power in the months leading up to the 19th Party Congress this fall, when a new generation of party leaders will be chosen.
Guo, who is believed to be in London, has indeed been linked to Ma Jian, who was charged with corruption in February.
In a brief message to The Associated Press, Guo dismissed the Interpol notice as an empty threat from the Chinese leadership.
“It’s all lies, all threats,” Guo said. “It shows they are scared of me leaking explosive information.”
He added: “Don’t worry, this is a good thing.”
Guo was not listed on Interpol’s website and agency officials declined comment, saying that Interpol does not comment on specific cases without the agreement of the member country involved as a matter of policy.
Guo Wengui also known under the names Guo Haoyun and Miles Kwok, is a Chinese businessman, who controls Beijing Zenith Holdings, and other assets. At the peak of his career, he was 73rd among the richest in China, followcn.com reported in February.
Guo, long prominent in real estate development and investment circles, came to fame in 2015 after a lengthy investigative report by Caixin media, controlled by Hu Shuli, was released, detailing Guo’s political connections, business dealings, and hard-ball tactics against former rivals. The piece became one of the most read investigative articles in the history of modern Chinese journalism.
He was born in Shen County, Shandong province, the seventh of eight children. He began his business career in Zhengzhou, before moving to Beijing to secure various construction deals during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. MDT/Agencies