Chinese tycoon Ye Yanrong (葉彥榮), owner of Xiamen-based Jietongda Network Technology Co, was arrested and repatriated to China last night amid allegations that he had diverted 560 million yuan (US$89 million) of company assets into his personal accounts.
The 30-year-old Ye, his wife and son fled to Taiwan, with his Taiwanese mistress, surnamed Chin (金), reportedly helping them hide in Greater Taichung, where she lives, the Chinese-language United Evening News reported yesterday.
Officials hailed the arrest as another example of successful cooperation between Taiwanese and Chinese authorities since the signing of the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement in 2009.
National Immigration Agency Director Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功) said it was the first time Taiwanese authorities had apprehended a top Chinese fugitive implicated in economic crimes.
“This sends a strong warning to criminals on the run between Taiwan and China. We hope this can encourage our Chinese counterparts to apprehend Taiwanese fugitives currently hiding in China,” Hsieh said.
Police said they were able to locate Ye by monitoring Chin’s activities. They said Chin helped the fugitives enter the country last month using false documentation. Chin reportedly also provided support by arranging for food to be delivered to their hideout.
According to reports, Chin began an affair with Ye after he visited Macau in July to gamble at the Venetian Resort Hotel, where she was working.
Ye founded Jietongda in Xiamen, Fujian Province, in 2008, investing in the mobile phone stored-value cards business and virtual currency exchanges for online services.
According to Chinese news reports, Jietongda Co became China’s No. 1 firm in sales of stored-value cards for mobile phone services, and Ye was earning big annual profits and attracting legions of investors for his company’s ventures.
Information from the company’s Web site shows that at the end of last year, Jietongda had 3,000 employees, 1,400 franchise stores across China, 14 direct stores in Xiamen and a telephone service membership of 500,000 across the country.
However, Ye reportedly had to take out loans to sustain the business after overambitious expansion plans. Outstanding debts and alleged mismanagement pushed Jietongda into bankruptcy last month, leaving employees unpaid, and Ye allegedly took 560 million yuan of the company’s assets and went on the run.
Police said Ye had made a number of calls to the UK and Vietnam, and suspect he was trying to launder money and obtain false documentation for a possible exit from Taiwan.
Ye and his family were held at the Alien Temporary Detention Center in Sansia Township (三峽), New Taipei City (新北市), and were put on a flight last night to China where he was to be handed over to Chinese Public Security Bureau officials.