Thai court orders fugitive businessman’s extradition to China

Wilawan Watcharasakwet
Thai court orders fugitive businessman’s extradition to China A prison officer rides his bicycle outside Bangkok’s Remand Prison, July 6, 2016. A Bangkok court ordered Malaysian businessman Teow Wooi Huat, who has been detained at the prison since July 2022, to be extradited to China.
Chaiwat Subprasom/Reuters

A Bangkok criminal court on Wednesday ordered Thai authorities to extradite a fugitive businessman to China for allegedly defrauding Chinese investors in Malaysia.

The businessman, Teow Wooi Huat, who had fled Malaysia, was arrested in July 2022 in Thailand’s Songkhla province for alleged money laundering, according to media reports. Two months later, China asked Thailand to extradite him, said deputy national police chief Gen. Surachate Hakparn

The three-judge panel told Teow, who was present via video conference from Bangkok Remand Prison, that China had an extradition treaty with Thailand since March 7, 1999.

“The action conducted by the accused [Teow Wooi Huat] constituted crimes of fraudulently borrowing money from people and cheating via persuading people to invest in a direct sale business,” the court ruled.

“Therefore the court orders the accused to be detained for extradition to China.”

Malaysia had also requested Teow’s extradition, but their request was made Jan. 3, after China’s.

Chinese expatriates living in Kuala Lumpur had in 2019 lodged a police complaint accusing Teow of defrauding them. The expatriates rallied outside the Chinese Embassy, accusing him of cheating in a multi-level investment, police and court officials said.

Teow’s lawyer, Juti Suanraksa, argued that his client was falsely accused by a Thai political party and Chinese politicians.

Teow has 30 days to appeal the order – if he does not or his appeal fails, he could be sent to China within 90 days. If his appeal is granted, he could be freed.

In China, Teow could face a prison term of five years or longer if convicted, according to the Thai attorney general’s office which sought the extradition at China’s request. 

Chinese and Malaysian officials were present in court on Wednesday along with Thai security officials.

Teow, also known as Tedy Teow, or Zhang, founded the multi-business MBI International Sdn Bhd, according to Malaysian media.


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