China diplomat contradicts PM Harris; says Chinese police met in Basseterre with top security and government officials

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, May 6th 2017 – Chinese police spent a week in St. Kitts and Nevis with the full knowledge of the top security apparatus and officials of the Government of Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris.

China is also claiming that it made a formal request to St. Kitts and Nevis to handover Chinese fugitive, Ren Biao, contradicting claims by Prime Minister Harris and his Attorney General, Hon. Vincent Byron.

CaribUpdate which first reported on the developing issue said Friday that Chinese diplomats indicated they had made requests for the turnover of Ren Biao wanted in Beijing for fraud.

“A high-ranking diplomat contacted CaribUpdate News overnight after hearing a report that quoted Attorney General Vincent Byron Jr. as saying there was no formal request. The diplomat said because Beijing has no formal relations with Basseterre, the request was made through a third party government,” said the CaribUpdate report aired throughout the Caribbean and North America on Friday.

It added: “The diplomat also said that Chinese police spent a week in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis with the full knowledge of the country’s top security apparatus as well as officials of the Government.”

Attorney General Byron Jr. in an interview with WINFM said while he heard the report of undercover agents operating in the country he was troubled by it, if it was true.

“Byron is standing firm by the government’s policy not to handover the man and cited the need for due process,” the CaribUpdate story said.

A press release from the Office of Prime Minister Harris on Wednesday said: “The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is deeply concerned that the news story reported that under-cove Chinese police officials interviewed the child of the alleged fugitive in St. Kitts in the absence of the parents. It is important to note that the Government of the People’s Republic of China has made no formal request to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in respect to this matter.”

Leader of the Opposition, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in a statement on Friday called on Prime Minister Harris to resign.

“He has stoutly refused to provide a full public accounting of this matter, to revoke the passport of Ren Biao and to do all that is necessary to stem this international scandal. It is apparent that the Prime Minister has something to hide,” said Dr. Douglas.

“I therefore on behalf of the Opposition call upon the Prime Minister to tender his resignation and to allow our great country to move beyond the quagmire into which he has placed it,” said Dr. Douglas.

Beijing said they have had no co-operation from the government of Prime Minister Timothy Harris on the issue.

China accuses Ren Biao, who holds Chinese and St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship, of swindling over US$100 million from a Chinese state firm.

Chinese diplomatic sources said communication was intercepted on April 16, in which Ren called relatives in Beijing seeking an additional US$190,000 to help to continue pay for what he reportedly described as his protection by Kittitian authorities..

It is still not known who Ren has been paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect him in St. Kitts and Nevis.

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