Sweden Detains Chinese Official Again, This Time at US Request

By Reuters
June 24, 2019 Updated: June 24, 2019

STOCKHOLM—Sweden has detained a fugitive Chinese official at the request of the United States and expects it to make a formal request for his extradition, a Swedish prosecutor said on June 24.

Qiao Jianjun was released from Swedish custody on Wednesday, an indication Sweden’s supreme court will turn down an earlier Chinese request for his extradition, according to his Swedish lawyer, Henrik Olsson Lilja.

The United States indicted Qiao in 2015 in his absence on charges of money laundering and immigration fraud. Qiao and his ex-wife Zhao Shilan are accused of lying on their applications for the EB-5 immigrant investor visa by pretending they were still married, and holding a stake in companies that they did not. Qiao is accused of stealing about $500,000 and using it to purchase property in Newcastle, Washington state.

In 2018, China asked Sweden to extradite Qiao, who has been on the run since 2011 from Chinese prosecutors, in connection with suspicions he had embezzled millions of dollars.

Swedish prosecutor Marie Lind Thomsen said Swedish police had arrested Qiao, the former storehouse director of a government grain storage facility in China, on Sunday.

“We received a (U.S.) request for his arrest and (a notice that) we will receive from them a request for his extradition,” she said, confirming Swedish media reports on Monday. Olsson Lilja said Qiao would oppose all U.S. charges and contest his extradition.

Lind Thomsen and Olsson Lilja both declined to say in relation to what allegations the United States requested Qiao’s arrest.

By Anna Ringstrom & Esha Vaish. The Epoch Times contributed to this report.