Chinese national to challenge government’s decision to withdraw passport

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Aug 2, CMC – An attorney for a Chinese fugitive who returned to Beijing last month to face charges of fraud involving at least US$100 million, says will seek a judicial review of the decision of the St. Kitts-Nevis government not to re-issue him with a local passport.

Attorney Chesley Hamilton, speaking on WINN FM radio here said that the judicial review is aimed at addressing the matter of the government not having extended his client, Ren Biao, rights and privileges to continue to use the St Kitts and Nevis passport which he had acquired under the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).

Ren Biao
Ren Biao (File Photo)

“The cabinet has made a decision not to re-issue him his passport at the moment and I have instructions to deal with that matter in terms of a judicial review,” he told radio listeners.

Ren Biao is accused by the Chinese authorities of swindling US$100 million from a Chinese state company and Beijing had called on the Timothy Harris government to have him extradited to face the charges.

He was detained here for three days by police while the discussion for his extradition continued and Hamilton says Ren Biao was very upset by the treatment he received.

“Yes he is very upset in terms of the fact that he was arrested here for three days for no apparent reason and the façade that there was some ongoing investigation about protection money and he is very upset over the treatment that he has gotten from the Harris administration and he continues to be upset that as a citizen they have failed to issue him his passport and offer him the rights and privileges of a St Kitts Nevis citizen.”

But Prime Minister Harris told WINN FM that he has received no complaint from Ren Biao or his attorney in that regard, saying “that is a matter for law enforcement and the law enforcement I am sure has no particular axe to grind, and gone about their activities and their investigation in a very professional matter.”

He said the details of any interaction involving the Chinese national and the police “are not matters I can communicate upon and indeed, I have never received a complaint regarding the treatment by law enforcement officers with respect to him.

“From all accounts the exercises undertaken by the police were very professionally done, they facilitated him to meet with his lawyers and have all queries basically answered. To my knowledge, no complaint has ever been made by anyone in relation to those interactions and so it is unfortunate at this late hour that such complaints would be uttered” Harris told radio listeners.

Ren Biao had hoped to travel to China with his St Kitts and Nevis passport, but had to settle instead for a temporary Chinese document.

“The matter of his passport is one which is under part of the investigation that is being conducted by the police, has to do with those passports and therefore the Commissioner of Police was of the view that at this particular moment in time having regard to the active investigation, that it would not be prudent for the passport be made available at this particular moment in time. We are happy that he has had recourse to other instruments that has facilitated his travel,” Prime Minister Harris said.

He told listeners that the matter is part of an active investigation.

“The police is leading with respect to this particular investigation, the Commissioner of Police is the man who basically has taken seize of this matter and he provides relevant guidance to the Ministry of National Security and to me as the Prime Minister on this matter.

“We let the professionals do their work, we take note of their advice and react in accordance with the best interest of the country” Harris added.

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The Montserrat Reporter - August 18, 2017

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by STAFF WRITER

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Aug 2, CMC – An attorney for a Chinese fugitive who returned to Beijing last month to face charges of fraud involving at least US$100 million, says will seek a judicial review of the decision of the St. Kitts-Nevis government not to re-issue him with a local passport.

Attorney Chesley Hamilton, speaking on WINN FM radio here said that the judicial review is aimed at addressing the matter of the government not having extended his client, Ren Biao, rights and privileges to continue to use the St Kitts and Nevis passport which he had acquired under the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).

Ren Biao
Ren Biao (File Photo)

“The cabinet has made a decision not to re-issue him his passport at the moment and I have instructions to deal with that matter in terms of a judicial review,” he told radio listeners.

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Ren Biao is accused by the Chinese authorities of swindling US$100 million from a Chinese state company and Beijing had called on the Timothy Harris government to have him extradited to face the charges.

He was detained here for three days by police while the discussion for his extradition continued and Hamilton says Ren Biao was very upset by the treatment he received.

“Yes he is very upset in terms of the fact that he was arrested here for three days for no apparent reason and the façade that there was some ongoing investigation about protection money and he is very upset over the treatment that he has gotten from the Harris administration and he continues to be upset that as a citizen they have failed to issue him his passport and offer him the rights and privileges of a St Kitts Nevis citizen.”

But Prime Minister Harris told WINN FM that he has received no complaint from Ren Biao or his attorney in that regard, saying “that is a matter for law enforcement and the law enforcement I am sure has no particular axe to grind, and gone about their activities and their investigation in a very professional matter.”

He said the details of any interaction involving the Chinese national and the police “are not matters I can communicate upon and indeed, I have never received a complaint regarding the treatment by law enforcement officers with respect to him.

“From all accounts the exercises undertaken by the police were very professionally done, they facilitated him to meet with his lawyers and have all queries basically answered. To my knowledge, no complaint has ever been made by anyone in relation to those interactions and so it is unfortunate at this late hour that such complaints would be uttered” Harris told radio listeners.

Ren Biao had hoped to travel to China with his St Kitts and Nevis passport, but had to settle instead for a temporary Chinese document.

“The matter of his passport is one which is under part of the investigation that is being conducted by the police, has to do with those passports and therefore the Commissioner of Police was of the view that at this particular moment in time having regard to the active investigation, that it would not be prudent for the passport be made available at this particular moment in time. We are happy that he has had recourse to other instruments that has facilitated his travel,” Prime Minister Harris said.

He told listeners that the matter is part of an active investigation.

“The police is leading with respect to this particular investigation, the Commissioner of Police is the man who basically has taken seize of this matter and he provides relevant guidance to the Ministry of National Security and to me as the Prime Minister on this matter.

“We let the professionals do their work, we take note of their advice and react in accordance with the best interest of the country” Harris added.