Zhang Wei, a soldier-turned-entrepreneur and cornerstone investor of Gansu Bank, has been arrested by Shenzhen police, becoming the latest Chinese businessman to fall foul of mainland Chinese laws.
China Create Capital Limited, the investment holding company headed by the 46-year-old Heilongjiang native is a "mafia-style gang" involved in illegal fundraising, harassment, blackmail, illegal detention of people and the possession of firearms, the Shenzhen police said in a notice. The whereabouts of Zhang, who was arrested with 43 other executives of China Create, could not be ascertained.
The arrests are the latest in the Chinese government's crackdown on crime and corruption in the country's financial system and capital markets, where 1,129 "mafia-like" syndicates were broken up across 10 provinces last year, with 4.94 billion yuan (S$999 million) of assets seized, according to the police. A number of Chinese oligarchs including Anbang Group's former chairman Wu Xiaohui, CEFC Group's founder Ye Jianming and financier Xiao Jianhua had fallen from grace since 2017.
Zhang's arrest has brought his business empire to its knees. Established in 2004, China Create owns stakes in at least 10 Hong Kong-listed companies valued at a combined HK$346.8 million (S$59 million) as of March 19, according to annual reports and exchange filings reported by Bloomberg. He may own stakes in as many as 111 listed and unlisted companies in mainland China, according to a report by ifeng.com, citing Chinese business registrar data.