Pearl Oriental Oil’s (0632.HK) chairman and controlling shareholder Wong Yuk-kwan (黃煜坤), who has been charged with some offenses in relation to a US oil and gas field deal, is said to have gone missing while on a long trip to Taiwan.
Wong’s family has reported that they cannot trace the businessman, who according to some media outlets has been staying in Taiwan for many months for medical treatment.
Pearl Oriental issued a statement Wednesday saying that it was unable to reach its chairman.
The company said its business has not been affected as an executive committee oversees the firm’s daily operations, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
Wong, along with three others, was charged two years ago by Hong Kong’s anti-graft agency with two counts of “conspiracy to defraud” in relation to a HK$500 million transaction of a US natural gas field in 2009.
The 68-year-old was released on bail and was supposed to attend court hearings. During the preliminary hearings, he was allowed to travel to Taiwan.
Lew Mon-hung (劉夢熊), a former business partner of Wong, said he got to know of Wong’s disappearance from media reports. He said he doesn’t think that Wong is deliberately hiding to escape the trial.
Lew, who was earlier ruled not guilty in same case, previously told Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption that Wong was in danger because of certain issues regarding the listed company’s coal business in Shanxi.
Taiwan’s Liberty Times, meanwhile, has reported that Wong was last seen Sunday near his Taipei residence.
According to some witnesses, he was forced into a car by two men, suggesting that he may have been kidnapped.
Taiwan police speculated that Wong’s disappearance may have something to do with financial disputes or troubles the businessman may be facing in Hong Kong.
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