Shanghai Electric Power has distanced itself from sensational revelations that a Chinese negotiator on multimillion Enemalta deals is the owner of the secret offshore company, Macbridge.
Cheng Chen, whose mother-in-law owns the company, was a consultant with a firm called Accenture. He was a key figure in a €320 million deal that saw Chinese state-owned company Shanghai Electric Power buy a third of Enemalta in 2014.
“SEPM reiterates that Mr Chen Cheng is not, and never has been, an employee of Shanghai Electric Power or Shanghai Electric Power (Malta). SEPM also wishes to make it categorically clear it was not aware of, or party to, any of the alleged illegal activity which has been reported,” the company said in a brief statement.
The company said it was committed to zero-tolerance to corruption, adding that it will provide the fullest support possible to investigative authorities in any jurisdiction.
Macbridge was one of two companies, along with Yorgen Fenech’s 17 Black, listed in the Panama Papers as a target client for the offshore companies of Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi.
Times of Malta and its reporting partners Reuters, OCCRP and Süddeutsche Zeitung found corporate documents showing Macbridge is owned by Chen’s mother-in-law through a Seychelles company that was registered by Mossack Fonseca, the now-defunct law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers scandal.
Corporate documents in Hong Kong also show that Wang Rui, Tang Zhaomin’s business partner in a Chinese Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise, set up a company called Dow Media at almost the exact same time Macbridge was set up.
A summary of 17 Black’s transactions show Dow Media had received €1 million from Fenech’s company in 2016.
Approached by Reuters reporters, Wang said the company was intended to do “media-type work” and that Chen had asked her to front it on his behalf. He told he couldn’t set it up by himself because of his links to a state-owned company.
Both Macbridge and Dow Media were dissolved in January 2019, two months after Fenech was revealed to be the owner of 17 Black.
Prime Minister Robert Abela has asked the police commissioner to investigate the issue.
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