USA has refused to accept that there is any political motive behind the prosecution of Ng Lap Seng, the billionaire from Macau. The US prosecutors termed the accusation as ‘inflammatory nonsense’. The Macau real estate developer has alleged that the US federal prosecutors are trying to slow down China’s influence on developing countries. Seng feels the trial has a political motive behind it. Seng’s lawyer has refused to comment on his client’s remarks. Ng Seng is being tried for participating in a United Nations bribery scheme.
Last year, Ng Lap Seng was charged for being a part of a bribery scheme in which a former UN General Assembly president and ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda, John Ashe was also involved. Ashe was the UN president between 2013 and 2014. Ashe died in June this year still awaiting trial. Seng was arrested in September 2015 and has pleaded not guilty.
Ng is accused of having paid Ashe more than $500,000 among other things as bribe. In return, Seng had wanted the UN’s support for developing a conference centre in Macau, the Chinese territory. Seng wanted his own company, Sun Kian Ip Group, to develop this conference center. Seng’s lawyer has submitted papers in the court stating that the US government is trying to mute Seng’s reasons for developing a conference centre in Macau.
Seng’s lawyer has argued that the FBI is not focusing on the charges of bribery. Instead they are interested in finding out about Qin Fei, an associate of Seng. The FBI believes that Fei is involved in foreign intelligence.
The FBI is adamant that they are well within their means of questioning Seng about Fei’s involvements. It is important to determine what kind of a role Fei had in Seng’s company, the development of the conference center and if he had any share of the money that Seng had wired to the US. Fei owns a $10 million mansion in Long Island.
Right before this, the federal investigators had arrested a former Air China employee, Ying Lin, on charges of smuggling packages for Chinese military personnel. Lin has also been accused of helping a Chinese national flee the United States in 2015, who the FBI was investigating at that time. FBI prosecutors have not revealed the name of the Chinese national but it is believed that the national was in fact Qin Fei himself.