Two principals of a Hong Kong-based company that came close to buying New Zealand’s 22 Crafar farms have been convicted of laundering HK$230 million (NZ$36m).
The South China Morning Post said that a solicitor and the wife of a former director of listed company Natural Dairy (NZ) Holdings were convicted of the laundering.
Wu Wing-Kit, 57, was found guilty in the District Court of laundering HK$68.95m, while Ye Fang, 43, was convicted of dealing with the proceeds of indictable offences totalling HK$230m.
Natural Dairy (NZ) Holdings, known in New Zealand for its frontwoman, May Wang, had agreed to buy the Crafar family farms for NZ$375m.
Wu is Wang’s solicitor and Ye is the wife of Jack Chen, Wang’s business partner.
Prime Minister John Key at the time raised “concerns” about the sale of land to overseas interests.
In December 2010, acting on the recommendation of the Overseas Investment Office, the Government decided not to approve the application.
The rejection was based on the Government’s view that Natural Dairy were not fit persons.
The farms were later sold to another Chinese company, Shanghai Pengxin.
Full story: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/10425426/Money-laundering-conviction-for-Natural-Dairy-duo