China online retailer arrested on smuggling charges

SHANGHAI - The founder of an online Chinese luxury retailer has been arrested after being charged with smuggling 438 million yuan (S$89 million) worth of goods into the country, the official China Daily reported on Monday, citing the customs authority.

Ji Wenhong, the founder of, an online e-commerce website that specialises in imported luxury goods, was captured in Indonesia and returned to China, where he will face trial, the newspaper said.

Ji is accused of being the head of a smuggling operation in which luxury clothing items purchased in Europe and the United States were carried into China via Hong Kong and made to look like personal possessions in order to avoid duties. published a statement on Sunday acknowledging that some individuals in the company had been involved in smuggling but its operations were continuing as normal.

Ji fled China in May last year, a few days after being charged with smuggling. Interpol subsequently issued a "red notice" ordering his arrest and he was detained by Indonesian police earlier this month.