Ex-AgBank Branch Head Fled With $16 Million of Loans, Police Say

A former head of Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. (601288)’s branch in eastern Jiangsu province fled the country with more than 100 million yuan ($16 million) “fraudulently borrowed from relatives,” according to police.

Authorities are seeking to arrest the suspect, who was only identified by the surname Sun, after he left the country with family members on Dec. 28, the Wuxi public security bureau said in a statement posted to its Website on March 25. Sun led the bank’s Yaosai branch in the coastal city of Jiangyin, the bureau said on its website. Jiangsu province is located about 90 miles (145 kilometers) from Shanghai.

The China Daily reported today Sun Feng, former head of the branch, and his family went to Thailand in December and later disappeared, citing Cai Wenyu, deputy director of the publicity department of Wuxi. Police believe they might have gone to Canada, the paper said. Calls to the Wuxi government press office and Jiangyin press offices weren’t answered.

Sun fled after he incurred losses in futures trading last year and was unable to pay back money borrowed from local individuals and businesses, the China Daily said, citing a report from Chinese-language newspaper Legal Daily.

A press officer at Beijing-based Agricultural Bank said today an internal investigation found no loss for the nation’s third-largest lender.

Standard Chartered Plc. (STAN) said on March 15 its private-bank relationship manager Wu Yidian Eden, a Singaporean citizen, was detained by police in the city of Wuxi. Chinese authorities are investigating an unidentified client of Wu who allegedly fled with as much as $50 million from Agricultural Bank, the Wall Street Journal reported that day.

The Agricultural Bank press officer today declined to comment on whether the two cases are connected.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bloomberg News in Bloomberg at emailtv@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net

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