Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), is asking about the status of shares in the West Indies Oil Company Ltd. (WIOC) owned by Chinese-Canadian investor Xiao Jianhua.
Jianhua was fined and confined for 13 years in China, last Friday, August 19, after pleading guilty to bribery and other crimes that Chinese authorities said had “seriously jeopardized” the country’s financial security.
The Chinese billionaire has been said to control nearly 25% of WIOC’s shares and holds Antigua and Barbuda citizenship.
Since 2017 questions have been raised about his holdings in the company.
Lately, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said in Parliament that the Chinese investor’s interests in the company were being managed here in Antigua, but he did not elaborate.
With Jianhua’s conviction, Lovell is asking what has become of his shares and whether the Chinese Government will seize them, since it is going after his other assets globally.
The UPP Political Leader says there are still many unanswered questions related to this Chinese investor and his association with WIOC.
Meanwhile, to the surprise of residents on Wednedsay night, Browne stated, on an Observer Radio live feed, that Jianhua has no shares in WIOC. But, again, he did not elaborate.
There is speculation that Government Ministers are actually shareholders in Jianhua’s holdings in Antigua and Barbuda.