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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bail for alleged HK fugitive denied

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona denied bail yesterday for alleged Hong Kong fugitive and property mogul Wei Zeng.

Zeng, however, was allowed to refile his request for bail should he meet the criteria for release.

The detention hearing set for yesterday afternoon was vacated.

In an order, Manglona said Zeng will remain in detention under the provisional arrest warrant.

The judge denied bail after the defendant, through counsels Bruce Berline and Nelson Xu, withdrew his request for bail on Friday.

Zeng, however, reserved his right to request bail at a later time should “special circumstances” arise or it becomes practicable to request bail under any other alternative basis.

Berline and Xu stated that given the general case law of extradition, the court would generally be required to find the presence of “special circumstances” in order to obtain Zeng’s release.

At this time, Berline and Xu conceded that that they are unaware of “special circumstances” that could be presented to the court in order to obtain Zeng’s release.

On Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted Zeng in connection with his arrest at the Saipan International Airport last Jan. 16. The indictment charged him with use of false document and misuse of passport. Zeng arrived on Saipan from Shanghai, China, and allegedly used a different identity to try to enter Saipan.

The Hong Kong government is seeking Zeng’s extradition due to a pending case against him. According to the U.S. government, the Hong Kong District Court issued a warrant for Zeng’s arrest after he allegedly bribed a Hong Kong bank official with HK $2.3 million ($300,000) in October 2010. The cash was allegedly a reward for the bank official’s help in a multi-million Hong Kong dollar loan extension application and for giving favorable credit information relating to Zeng’s two companies.

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