Beijing [China], April 7 (ANI): After Chinese billionaire Sun Dawu was detained last November for taking illegal deposits and disturbing public order, his high-powered defence team has warned that authorities could 'destroy and take over' his business using laws targeting 'criminal gangs'.
According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), a total of 30 people, including Sun, members of his family and other senior managers, were taken in custody from Gaobeidian city in Hebei province over a land dispute and other disagreements between Dawu Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Group and a local state farm.
Sun's arrest and the investigation into his business have reportedly heightened concerns about the protections available to private entrepreneurs, which has been described as 'fragile' by many business leaders.
One of the billionaire's legal advisers, Yang Bin, alleged that the police has made it difficult for them to speak to their clients, adding that they would apply for bail since the arrest and detention of Sun and other senior managers have brought the Dawu Group to the brink of collapse.
Yang also expressed concern that Sun and his managers would be prosecuted under anti-gang laws, which carry long jail sentences and would allow the authorities to confiscate their properties, SCMP reported.
She also feared that the authorities were targeting Sun because of the family's influence and the conflict with the state farm.
Zhou Hongyun, the wife of Sun's brother Sun Zhihua, said police had convinced her to stay silent to ensure the group was released early, but she was now worried she had been hoodwinked, according to SCMP.
"They've lied to me. Things that happened in the past few months indicate that my family is likely to face heavy sentences... This is totally unacceptable and I will do my best to defend them," she said.
Sun Dawu founded the Dawu Group in the 1980s, which has grown to become a major agricultural producer in Hebei, with interests in animal husbandry, feed processing and chemical fertilisers.
He has also established schools and hospitals linked to the company, while his legal adviser Yang said that he wanted to play his part in modernising China's countryside, SCMP reported. (ANI)