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Alleged financial fugitive Michael Ching denies Chinese charges

The Province logo The Province 2015-05-03 Sam Cooper
Jan 18th, 2015. Pictured from left to right: Liberal MP candidate Andrew Leslie, Former Richmond MP Raymond Chan and local property developer Michael Ching at a Liberal fundraiser that took place in Vancouver. © Silvester Law Jan 18th, 2015. Pictured from left to right: Liberal MP candidate Andrew Leslie, Former Richmond MP Raymond Chan and local property developer Michael Ching at a Liberal fundraiser that took place in Vancouver.

As the Chinese government targets 26 alleged financial fugitives in Canada in an intensifying anti-corruption “global dragnet,” the prominent Vancouver developer at the centre of explosive charges has denied all accusations through his lawyer.

As The Province reported this week, 45-year-old Vancouver developer Michael Ching — also known as Mo Yeung Ching — denied through his lawyers that he is Muyang Cheng, the man fingered in China’s Operation Sky Net.

Muyang Cheng, accused of graft and corruption by Interpol China, is the 45-year-old son of now deceased Hebei governor Cheng Weigao, who was expelled from China’s Communist Party in a corruption probe. Cheng Weigao was accused of using his powerful office to benefit his son’s business interests.

Regarding questions on Michael Ching and Muyang Cheng, and whether they are in fact the same person accused by China, previously his lawyer Lawrence Wong told The Province: “We take the position that it is a different person.”

Wong confirmed, however, that Michael Ching is related to Cheng Weigao.

Late Friday night another Ching lawyer, David Lunny, sent a statement to The Province affirming that his client Michael Ching faces allegations from China.

“He had no involvement whatsoever in any graft or corruption,” Lunny wrote. “The accusations which are now made against him by the Chinese government … are without foundation and they emanated only after a change in the leadership of the Chinese political regime.”

“Anyone familiar with the inadequacies and failings of the criminal justice system in China would certainly endorse his reluctance to place himself at its mercy,” Lunny added.

“Mr. Ching has been an exemplary and upright member of the Canadian community.”

Ching is suing Immigration Canada for $1.75 million, court filings say, for allegedly blocking his citizenship application and abusing the process, and sharing information with Chinese police who are “globally reputed for torture and extrajudicial killings.”

Ching’s claim says that in immigration hearings in 2008, Canadian officials alleged Ching colluded with two suspects convicted in China of embezzlement, and “the so-called confessions (of the Chinese suspects) were obtained by (Chinese police) torture.”

The Canadian government’s statement of defence asserts that Ching is “also known as Cheng Muyang, the Mandarin transliteration of his name.”

The Province asked Citizenship and Immigration Canada to respond to Ching’s allegations against Canadian officials, and state whether immigration officials believe Ching should be turned over to the Chinese justice system to face charges.

“Canadians are generous and welcoming people, but they have no tolerance for criminals and fraudsters abusing our generosity,” the CIC responded Friday, in a statement.

“Once individuals have exhausted all legal avenues, we expect them to respect our immigration laws and leave Canada, or to be removed.”

The CIC would not respond to further questions.

Lunny stated later on Friday: “The Canadian Citizenship and Immigration department did not issue a statement last week accusing Mr. Ching of wrongdoing of any kind.”

Lunny also writes that Michael Ching — who has developed major projects in Richmond and Vancouver and who has for years donated to the Liberal Party of Canada and become increasingly involved by supporting the leadership of Justin Trudeau — “by dint of his own efforts and ability, from small beginnings … has been successful in developing and constructing more than 10 projects in the Lower Mainland with more underway.”

As The Province revealed last week, the Liberal Party of Canada says it is currently probing its connections with Ching.

“We can confirm that the Liberal Party of Canada respects all of Elections Canada’s fundraising rules and that Mo Yeung Ching has donated to us,” party spokesman Olivier Duchesneau said in an email to The Province.

“What we can’t confirm, as we have no way of accurately knowing, is if this person is the same person referenced by the Chinese Government. On this point, we expect that the authorities will clarify the situation soon, and if required, we will take all appropriate measures at that time.”

ClickHEREto read the full statement issued by Michael Ching's lawyers


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