A Canadian has been arrested in Macau for allegedly trying to defraud an entertainment company out of $284 million. The 61-year-old man, who is ethnic Chinese, was arrested on Friday.
Police said he had tried to transfer the money from the firm’s bank account using fake documents.
Macau’s Judiciary Police told AFP the man, surnamed Liao, tried to use a “fake authorization document and transfer slip to try to defraud the entertainment company and the bank”.
Police did not identify the company or the bank involved, it reported.
The man was charged with forgery and fraud, according to the South China Morning Post.
The arrest comes as China and Canada are locked in a diplomatic row following the arrest in Vancouver late last year of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou after an extradition request from Washington linked to violations of sanctions on Iran, which Beijing does not recognize.
Chinese authorities detained two Canadians shortly after and accused them of “endangering national security”. However, most observers believe the arrests are retaliatory and some have likened them to “taking hostages” to try to pressure Ottawa not to extradite Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, to the US.
However, the arrest in Macau was announced by local police in a press conference over the weekend, and they outlined the allegations in some detail. Judiciary Police said the man “tried to transfer 249 million euros”.
Staff at the bank allegedly grew suspicious when the man’s signature did not match what they had on record for the account and they alerted police.
The man was arrested at the border when he tried to leave Macau on Friday evening.
Macau is the world’s largest gambling hub, raking in five times as much as Las Vegas in gaming revenue. The vast majority of gamblers who visit the semi-autonomous city are Chinese nationals.
– with reporting by Agence France-Presse