Already wanted for corruption, fraud, kidnapping and a range of other alleged crimes, Chinese authorities are now investigating outspoken, exiled billionaire Guo Wengui for rape as well.
A pair of anonymous Chinese officials with direct knowledge of the investigation told the Associated Press that police are now requesting a second Interpol arrest notice be issued for the infamous 50-year-old real-estate tycoon over the alleged sexual assault of a 28-year-old former personal assistant.
Guo fled China two years ago and now spends his time dishing dirt about China’s elite to overseas media and to his followers on social media from the safety of his Manhattan penthouse.
Back in April, China issued an Interpol “red notice,” calling for Guo’s arrest after the tycoon threatened to release information exposing top-level government corruption. Since then Guo has accumulated an impressive number of lawsuits — now up to at least 19 major criminal cases. Last month, Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing even announced that she plans to sue Guo for his claims that she slept with China’s top graft-buster 68-year-old Wang Qishan.
Meanwhile, the anonymous officials told Associated Press reporters that police in central China launched an investigation into the rape allegation against Guo on July 5th after a former employee came forward. The AP gives details of her case:
In interviews with police, the woman described how she was plucked from her human resources position at Guo’s real estate company in Hong Kong in 2015 and sent overseas to become his personal assistant. The woman, whose identity is being withheld by the Associated Press, said that over the next two years, she was raped several times in New York, London and the Bahamas by Guo, who she said demanded sex from female employees as a test of their loyalty.
At times, she said, she languished in virtual detention after Guo’s staff confiscated her mobile phone, computer, passport and keys and forbade her from leaving her room in his luxury apartment in the high-end London neighborhood of Belgravia. To prove her case, the woman surreptitiously met a lawyer friend in London earlier this year to give a written statement about her ordeal and kept her underwear, pregnancy tests and abortion pills as evidence, according to police documents.
In a brief phone interview with the Associated Press arranged by Chinese officials, the woman confirmed the account and described fleeing Guo’s apartment to the Chinese Embassy in London in April to apply for a new passport before returning to China. She said she was speaking of her own volition and that police had assured her she could bring charges against Guo without facing repercussions for having worked for a highly sought-after fugitive.
“I just want him to face justice for what he did to me,” she said.
The AP notes that Chinese officials disclosing details to foreign media about this extremely sensitive case is more than a bit unusual, explaining that it likely “underscores Beijing’s urgent effort to not only get Guo to face criminal charges, but also silence a potent irritant in the run-up to a key Communist Party congress during which political stability and the stifling of any challenges to the party head, President Xi Jinping, are paramount.”
So far, the United States has shown no sign of looking to extradite Guo and the US does not have an extradition agreement with China, but Beijing seems to hope that enough charges and evidence may eventually be able to sway Washington into handing Guo over.
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