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Chinesse businessman linked to 500 room casino resort in Samoa investigated for corruption

BEIJING —  The chairman of the Chengdu Exhibition and Travel Group (ETG), who signed an MOU with Samoa to build a 500 room resort, is in custody in Beijing China.


Deng Hong, who has reportedly been in custody since March 2012 is being investigated over corruption linked to land deals, by the Communist Party anti- corruption officials, according to a Caixin Online report of April 14.


The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Samoa’s Ambassador to China, Tapusalaia Toomata and officials from Samoa visited the ETG company’s Head Office in Chengdu, China in May 2012.


Discussions centred on the building of a 500 room hotel resort project in Samoa to be managed by Intercontinental Hotels Inc.


The Prime Minister and the Chairman of ETG, Deng Hong then signed an MOU during the visit to facilitate the implementation of the project.


Ambassador To’omata visited Samoa with a team from ETG in April prior to the Prime Minister’s visit to Chengdu.


In June, ETG Chairman Deng, the Chengdu Exim Bank President and officials of ETG returned to Samoa for site visits, following a visit to Yap in Micronesia, where ETG is also planning another resort.


On the Samoa Embassy website in Beijing the report said “The proposed project would be a huge boost for Samoa’s tourism especially in targeting Chinas growing outbound tourism as well as nearby markets such as Australia and New Zealand.”


Earlier media reports in Caixin Online had said Deng was questioned in December by anti-corruption officials in connection with an investigation into Li Chuncheng, the former mayor of Chengdu.


The inquiry into Li was regarded as "a serious violation of the law," the party's Central Discipline Inspection Commission said on December 6.



"Last time (Deng) was asked to assist in the investigation, but this time he is the target," the source close to the investigation said.


Deng has been in custody since early March, the source said.


His last public appearance was on February 19, when he met officials from Shanghai in Chengdu.


Deng is a well-known businessman in Sichuan who operates a wide range of exhibition and property projects across the southwestern province.