Fan Bingbing whistle-blower Cui Yongyuan dismisses Chinese police’s ‘missing’ claim, accuses them of ignoring death threats

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The Chinese television host whose allegations triggered the Fan Bingbing tax evasion scandal has pooh-poohed Shanghai police’s claim that they were unable to find him and accused Beijing police of disregarding the multiple death threats he claimed to have received.

On Sunday, Cui Yongyuan accused Shanghai police of taking hundreds of thousands of yuan in bribes during their investigation of the Fan case. They responded yesterday by saying Cui could not be reached, which led to reports he had gone missing.

However, the talk show host later dismissed those claims on Weibo – China’s Twitter-like service – asking officers to write to him or get his number from the tax authorities.

In a fresh post on Wednesday night, Cui, who is known for campaigning against genetically modified food and sparking the tax evasion probe into Fan and the Huayi Brothers Media film studio with which she has worked, accused the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau of dereliction of duty.

He said that officers from Xinyuanli police station in the city’s Chaoyang district had failed to properly respond to his report that he had received death threats from three Weibo users.

His campaigns against GM food and the Fan revelations had also led to personal information about his daughter being made public, he said.

One of the people he accused of intimidating him last month deliberately released his daughter’s name, photograph and the name of the city in which she is studying, he said.

Except in one case where a man issued a publicly apology for attacking Cui online, saying among other things that the CCTV host was “close to death”, police had disregarded his claims of intimidation and harassment, Cui said.

Despite the frequency of his Weibo posts, many of them are swiftly censored, as was the case with the accusations he made about Shanghai police.

His Weibo post to Beijing police, however, was still online as of 5pm Thursday. In it he said: “I’m under so much pressure that I have been admitted to hospital twice, but I have always obeyed the law, tried to protect my rights via legal means and had confidence in the law.”

Cui’s latest social media row received a mixed response from other Weibo users.

“In China there are too many people afraid of getting into trouble, and too few with the courage to speak the truth,” one said.

“Why does a legal pursuit have to be put on social media to provide public discussion? This is the question,” asked another.

Cui’s revelations about Fan’s use of dual contracts to defraud the tax authorities led to her being detained and given a bill for 880 million yuan (US$127.6 million) to cover unpaid taxes and fines.

By Mandy Zuo
SCMP


Chinese TV host who sparked Fan Bingbing tax probe goes missing after accusing Shanghai police of fraud

Officers from economic crime investigation department pocketed hundreds of thousands of yuan in cash gifts, Cui Yongyuan says.

The Chinese television presenter whose allegations sparked the Fan Bingbing tax evasion scandal has apparently disappeared after making fresh claims about corruption within the Shanghai police authority.

Cui Yongyuan said on social media on Sunday that the city’s police and celebrities from the world of entertainment were involved in a “huge fraud”.

While he did not name any stars, he accused officers from Shanghai’s economic crime investigation department (ECID) of accepting hundreds of thousands of yuan in cash gifts, as well as drinking 20,000 yuan (US$2,900) bottles of wine and smoking 100 yuan a packet cigarettes.

In a rare public response, Shanghai police on Wednesday urged Cui to get in touch, claiming it had been unable to locate him since he made the allegations.

“[We] hope that he volunteers to contact the police and support our investigation,” it said. “Once the problem he raised is proved to be true, we will handle it firmly in line with the law.”

In the original post on Weibo – China’s Twitter-like platform – Cui said he had been investigated by tax officials and police as part of the inquiry into Fan, whom he had accused of tax evasion in May.

“I know that the cause was Air Strike [a film in which Fan starred]. Those who participated in this huge fraud include celebrities from the entertainment field as well as police officers from Shanghai ECID,” he said.

All of the companies he had worked for and all of his former assistants had been investigated, he said.

In their initial response to the Weibo post, the police said Cui should contact them or the State Administration of Taxation.

The television host responded by saying: “As for your internal problem, you can start with probing the deputy head of Changning district’s economic crime investigation department, Peng Fen, whose son’s name is Peng Mingda.”

In its statement on Wednesday, the police said a special team had been set up to investigate Cui’s allegations.

Fan, who is China’s highest paid actress, was found to have evaded tax by using dual “yin-yang” contracts to mislead the authorities about how much she had been paid for her role in Air Strike.

She was detained and subsequently ordered to pay almost 884 million yuan in fines and back taxes. Several reports on social media on Sunday said she had now settled those debts.

In his latest post, Cui also accused Chinese film studio Huayi Brothers Media Corp of using spurious contracts help actors evade tax. The company denied all the allegations saying that all of its contracts were drawn up in accordance with the law.

By Mandy Zuo

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