“What happens with Mr. Liu in the United States is an issue between him and the United States civil court. We as a responsible government adopt the position of observing…Government’s position remains the same.”
That was the response from Health Minister, Nicholas Steele at last week’s post-Cabinet press briefing in response to a recent US court order on Chinese investor Charles Liu, who serves as a Grenadian diplomat at its Embassy in Beijing.
Liu is known to have obtained a Grenadian passport under its Citizenship by Investment programme.
The court order in the U.S is for the Chinese businessman to repatriate funds that he diverted to China that he obtained from foreign investors towards a proton cancer treatment center (Beverly Proton Centre) in Southern California, which never materialised.
In response to questions posed by a NEW TODAY reporter during the press conference, Minister Steele said the Grenada government had “communicated from day one with the US authorities and our concern has always been whether there has been any laws broken in Grenada or whether any of the civil suit issues relates to activities here in Grenada”
“To date the communications we have received does not show that,” and so, investigations have not been launched locally”, he remarked.
However, the senior government minister gave assurances that “we (government) will continue to monitor (the court action against Liu in the US) and take the appropriate action in the best interest of Grenada”.
Minister Steele reiterated that the Mt. Hartman investment project will proceed as planned.
He said: “Based on reports from Mr. Liu’s representatives here they are going ahead (with the project) as scheduled (with construction set to commence) within the first quarter of next year”.
One of the representative told this newspaper about two months ago that new investors are being lined up for the project but did not give any details.
There are unconfirmed reports that a Russian might be one of the persons being “courted” for the Mt. Hartman project.
According to Minister Steele, the proposed project involving Liu “is not a government project (and that) government’s duty is to make sure that the funds (being spent on the project) are not related to any civil activities or illegal activities et cetera”.
He said once the project starts it will provide employment for many Grenadians.
In June, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in the U.S laid fraud charges against Liu and his wife Lisa Wang, who are accused of misusing approximately two thirds of monies (USD24.7M) raised for the cancer treatment center.
The Keith Mitchell Government in St. George’s has granted concessions to Liu who was being promoted as the major investor in a proposed EC$2 Billion dollar project at Mt. Hartman Grand Anse, St. George.
The administration has consistently expressed the view that there was no reason to believe that there was a relationship between the alleged fraudulent activities and activities in Grenada of Liu and elsewhere.
Speculation is rife that some of the monies that the SEC is after might have been sent by the Chinese investor to Grenada.
The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called for an investigation to be launched to determine if Liu and his wife have been engaged in illegal activities in the country.