A China-born Singaporean associate director at Standard Chartered’s private banking business has been detained by authorities in Shanghai and transferred some 125km away to the city of Wuxi in Jiangsu province.
According to a copy of the detention notification letter issued by the Wuxi Public Security Bureau to the family which Shanghaiist obtained, Wu Yidian Eden was held on charges of “harbouring and shielding criminal activity”.
Wu’s fiance, Jason Tan, tells Shanghaiist that she had been participating in and “cooperating fully” with investigations involving one of the bank’s customers, an employee of a Chinese state-owned bank, who allegedly fled with some $50 million.
The absconder is said to be the manager of the Agricultural Bank of China’s branch in Jiangyin, a county under the jurisdiction of Wuxi.
Throughout the investigations, Wu had been able to travel freely. But when the 31-year-old informed police last Tuesday of her wedding plans which involved travel to Singapore, she was detained on the spot, said Tan. She has also not been allowed to talk to a lawyer or to see her family since then.
When contacted by Shanghaiist, Ho Ning Lynn, the admin and consular attache of the Singapore Consulate-General in Shanghai issued a terse response saying the consulate was “aware of the case which is currently under investigation” and “will render all necessary consular assistance”.
Wang Ling, Standard Chartered’s Shanghai-based head of media relations, and Shaun Gamble, senior manager of the bank’s external communications at the London headquarters, did not respond to messages sent by Shanghaiist.
Wu’s case is the latest in a line of high profile detentions of China-born foreign nationals, many of which were charged with infringing or misusing state or trade secrets.
Hu Zhicheng, an award-winning Chinese-American automotive engineer, was detained in 2009 in Tianjin and told he would be slapped with multimillion-dollar fines unless he transferred his company’s U.S.-registered patent to his local partner.
Geologist Feng Xue, another Chinese-American, was detained two years in Beijing on states secrets charges for allegedly selling a commercial database on China’s oil and gas industries.
Stern Hu, the most senior China executive with Australian mining giant Rio Tinto, was jailed 10 years in China for allegedly taking millions of dollars worth of kickbacks from local steel firms and stealing corporate secrets related to iron ore.
UPDATE: Fiance of S’porean Stanchart detainee says Wuxi police tried to shut him up