Canadian arrested in Macau for USD284M fraud attempt

HONG KONG (AFP) – A Canadian man has been arrested in the gambling hub of Macau for allegedly trying to defraud an entertainment company out of USD284 million, police said.

The suspect, a 61-year-old retiree of Chinese descent, was arrested on Friday after allegedly trying to transfer the money from the firm’s bank account using bogus documents earlier in the week.

In an emailed statement Macau’s Judiciary Police told AFP the man, surnamed Liao, tried to use a “fake authorisation document and transfer slip to try to defraud the entertainment company and the bank”.

Police did not identify the company or the bank involved.

The arrest comes as Beijing and Ottawa are locked in a diplomatic row following the December arrest in Canada of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on a US extradition request linked to Iran sanctions violations.

In a move observers see as retaliation over the Meng case, Chinese authorities detained two Canadians soon after, accusing them of activities that “endanger China’s national security”.

The phrase is often used by Beijing when alleging espionage, and few details have been given about their whereabouts or the cases against them.

In contrast, the arrest in Macau was announced by local police in a press conference over the weekend, and they outlined the allegations in some detail.