Underground billionaire: how Sam Pa, who was arrested in China, had made his fortune

A friend of the Zimbabwe dictator and Angolan oil producers, "secret millionaire" Sam Pa enjoyed a special attitude from state-owned Chinese companies until recently. Now the Chinese law enforcers become interested in him.
Origin source
Day 8 October 2015 in one of the hotels in Beijing, was arrested a Hong Kong businessman Sam Pa. His arrest became known only a week later, from the message of the Chinese business magazine "Tsaysin". Current location is not disclosed businessman.

Under arrest Pa, a fortune of $ 20 billion, estimated The Sydney Morning Herald five years ago, summed up the corruption scandal in the oil company Sinopec. The Disciplinary Commission of the Chinese Communist Party announced the intraparty investigation against the head of Fujian Province Su Shulin, who from 2007 to 2011, served as general manager of Sinopec. An anonymous source "Tsaysin" reported that the main interest of the investigators show to work together with Sinopec Sam Pa structures for the development of oil fields in Angola.

Since 2008, Sinopec has invested about $ 10 billion in the development of five oil blocks in the country, however, received from them a minimum return: the company estimates reserves in three main blocks of 2.6 billion barrels. with real 1.1 billion barrels. According to the PRC Accounting Chamber, $ 1.6 billion of the total was spent on onck and mining, caught in the end futile. Red same card, the words "Tsaysin" for auditors is the fact that Sinopec bought Sam Pa is one of the oil blocks for $ 1.87 billion while the estimated value of the assets at $ 933 million. In fact, the corporation gave the Hong Kong businessman nearly $ 1 billion.

Chinese octopus

Over the past ten years it has evolved from a little-known Pa entrepreneur in the chapter business empire, whose interests extend to the five continents, and the amount of billions of dollars of transactions. He created from scratch an extensive network of companies with common owners, directors and a single registration address: Queensway (Queensway), 88, Hong Kong, which was fixed for the informal name of Queensway Group.

The group does business with BP, Total and trader Glencore. Its business includes gas production in Indonesia, the refinery in Dubai, luxury real estate in Singapore and the Airbus fleet. The company also has interests in North Korea and Russia. Under the control of Queensway Group is about three dozen subsidiaries, the main of which oil company Sonangol and China Investment Fund China International Fund (CIF), which specializes in infrastructure and mining projects. Professionals of the mining industry, which had to deal with Queensway Group, a conglomerate called it a ghost.

Revenues and Pa state not known for certain, however, according to experts, is a dollar billionaire businessman. In 2010, the Australian The Sydney Morning Herald estimated assets alone CIF fund of $ 20 billion.

None of the corporate registry there is no evidence that the PA is a shareholder or director of any of the Queensway Group companies, but it always represents the interests of the group in meetings with presidents, sheikhs and magnates. He gained influence and made a fortune, brokered a deal between China and the countries of Africa, primarily Angola.

The Chinese authorities have repeatedly denied any involvement in the business Queensway Group in Africa, but as it turned out Financial Times (FT) as a result of several investigations, Pa and his associates are connected with influential circles in Beijing, China's state-owned companies and intelligence.

Queensway cooperates with the ruling regimes of resource-rich countries - from Zbabve and Guinea to Angola and Nigeria. This is the strategy Pa obliged to ensure that in the past year, the US division of the influential Treasury OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) included in its sanctions list SDN (Special Designated Nationals) for "undermining the democratic and economic progress in Zimbabwe." In a press release OFAC stated that Chinese businessman known not only as Sam Pa, but still under six different names and has three passports - China, Angola and the United Kingdom.

Sam Pa is constantly on the move. In the first months of 2014, his plane had time to visit Hong Kong, Singapore, Mauritius, Maldives, capital of Angola, and Zimbabwe - respectively, Luanda and Harare, as well as in Jakarta and Beijing, wrote the FT referring to the public information about air travel, adding that an entrepreneur with them is always a large amount.

Mr. mediator

There are several versions of the biography of Sam Pa, all incomplete: for example, never indicate his date of birth. Probably, Pa was born in mainland China, and in 1958 he was sent to a child in Hong Kong. As it follows from Hong Kong toC orporate registries, in the 1990s the name appeared in Pa data on a number of local companies, which subsequently went bankrupt.

At the end of the 90s, that is, after about two decades after the reforms of Deng Xiaoping in China, Beijing has adopted a new strategy of "exit outside." For the Chinese state-owned companies, especially in the limited opportunities to invest abroad, was opened access to foreign natural resources, markets and large-scale construction projects. Africa was attractive from all three points of view for the Beijing functionaries: they needed intermediaries that can open these markets, this could make a fortune. Pa had just two valuable qualities for such work - and dedication, despite the explosive nature, the ability to find contact with the right people.

"Sometimes it can be very serious and tense, - said Mahmoud Thiam, a former UBS bank manager, who worked in Guinea c Pa and then-Minister for the mining industry. - His views on what role China should play in the world, have a strong ideologicalbasis. At the same time he has a good sense of humor and he knows how to present yourself. "

"Capture" Angola

In early 2003 Pa came to Lisbon to meet with Elder Battaglia, head of the company operating in Angola, Escom Group, whose interests are wide - from mining to real estate. Battaglia was born in Portugal but grew up in Angola, where he became one of the largest private investors in the economy of the country, and later went to neighboring markets. Businessman recalled that Pa would create a joint venture to operate in South America and Africa. Portuguese liked the idea, but he wanted to know your potential partner better, and Pa invited him to China.

Battaglia and his aides met in the Hall of officials and delegations of Beijing airport. Pa hosted formal dinners and meetings with representatives of state-owned companies of China, they are word for word repeats the sentence Pa: "Let's work together, we do not have enough experience in these areas." In a country where there is nothing more important than personal relationships, in Battaglia did not have any doubt about the status of his mysterious friend. "Of course, I decided thatSam works for the government ... He came from the security services, the task set before him - to help bring China to the world market ", - adds Battaglia.

According to the FT source close to the security services of one of the African countries, Pa worked for foreign intelligence China since the early 1980s. Interlocutor publication recalls that at that time he used a different name: "Sam - a major player on the African arms market. Oil, diamonds and weapons are always connected. All scouts in those years went into business. "

Battaglia has agreed to deal with Pa, and that he began to gather a team around him. Initially, they were interested in energy and infrastructure projects in South America, then the partners have switched to Angola.

After 27 years of civil war that ran from 1975, Angola was in ruins. The Government of the country's second president, José Eduardo dos Santos, needed money for infrastructure rehabilitation. Western donors warily watched mode with high corruption risks. Dos Santos turned to the East, and it so happened that Pa was at the right time in the right place. at the ambassadorialday stage of the Civil War Pa engaged in the supply of weapons Angolan government troops. As in other cases, here it useful links that Battaglia has gained in the country over the decade and a half before. "Then in Angola could come only as part of an official delegation," - explained the Portuguese.

In summer 2003, Royal Dutch Shell oil giant auctioned its 50% in oil block 18, one of the largest oil fields offshore Angola. Using his connections, Pa bought the stake through a joint venture with Angola's Sonangol Oil Corporation. To do this, his foundation and Sonangol set up two joint ventures - China Sonangol International (CSI) and China Sonangol International Holdings (CSH). In turn, the CSH has agreed with one of the "daughters» Sinopec on the establishment of its joint venture - company Sonangol Sinopec International (SSI). Formally, Shell sold its stake in the oil field companies CSH and SSI for $ 864 million.

At the same time another joint venture Pa - firm the CSI - began buying shares in other coastal oil fields of Angola and to sell them at a premium structures Sinopec. In just a few years has become a leading Pa mediator between the Chineseof state corporations and Angolan oil companies. Attempts to make a deal, bypassing its structures Pa harshly suppressed. For example, already for $ 786 million in 2009, France's Total was going to sell its stake in one of Angola's fields directly Sinopec for $ 393 million. Pa through joint ventures with Sonangol bought the structure of the package and Sinopec sold.

Business Sam Pa in figures

More than $ 20 billion

investment fund managed by Sam Pa CIF

780 sq. km

Angola occupies a new area of ​​the capital, designed CIF

498 km

Railways had planned to build CIF in Angola

60 billion rubles.

It is the metro line project in New Moscow, which is a co-investor made CIF

$ 1 billion

Pa are immovable assets in New York

1.1 billion barrels.

It was the real volume of oil reserves in the Sinopec-owned Angola

Source: China Investment Fund, Haaretz, The Sydney Morning Herald, the government of Moscow, the Chinese Chamber of Accounts

unearmarked map

Despite the tough business style, Sinopec managers appreciate the unique communication capabilities and Sam Pa. According to "Tsaysin" in 2008. Concernbusinessman gave a credit card with a monthly "ceiling" in Hong Kong dollars, equivalent to $ 130 thousand. Prior to deactivate cards in early 2015 Pa spent with her about $ 7.5 million.

Map Pa had to leave due to the Chinese authorities are investigating vaniem for inappropriately spending in Sinopec, which started in the autumn of 2014 against the backdrop of falling oil prices. Last year, three of the five major Sinopec oil blocks in Angola showed a total loss of $ 1.6 billion after this corporation decided to withdraw from unprofitable projects, but in terms of the contract can not do it without the consent of the co-investors -. Sonangol and structures Sam Pa .

As a lawyer told the FT the Singapore office of China Sonangol, with the arrest of Pa business across the group of companies will not be affected, because the businessman allegedly is "one of the advisers' corporation Queensway.

The situation in the global economy complicates the existence of intermediary business Pa. The slowdown in China's economy is forcing Beijing to reduce purchases of African minerals. The fall in oil prices, in turn, causes the African countries, tied to exportsnergoresursov, cut budgets.

While Angola - the second largest oil exporter to China after Saudi Arabia. Total using Chinese partners Angolan authorities have launched more than a hundred projects in energy, water, health, education, telecommunications, fisheries, and public works.

Pa and Metro in New Moscow

May 19, 2014 during the visit of the delegation of the Moscow government in China controlled by the Moscow authorities "Mosinzhproekt" signed a cooperation agreement with the China Railway Construction Corporation (China Railway Construction Corporation, CRCC) and controlled by Sam Pa China International Fund. The parties have agreed on the implementation of major transport projects - the construction of the south-west metro line in the territory of New Moscow. It was assumed that the seven stations will be placed on a new line length of 14.9 km from the station "Innovators Street" Third interchange circuit to the "high" station. The project cost is estimated at 60 billion rubles.

Pa Leviev

In 2010, the US Congress Commission onBusiness Overview of security issues and trade between the US and China published its annual report, which among other things referred to Queensway Group ties with the Israeli diamond magnate Lev Leviev. Leviev - the head of the Africa Israel Investments Limited, which is engaged in diamond mining, real estate and chemical production. The company invests in Africa, Israel, Russia and the United States.

In 2008 Leviev bought from controlled Queensway Group structure 10% of the company Artfield Group Limited, which is engaged in sale of watches, Office supplies, lighting equipment and metals. A week later, one of the companies Leviev sold "daughter" 88 Queensway Group share in the projects related to real estate in Manhattan, nearly $ 1 billion.

The drafters of the report emphasized that the Queensway Group is actually not a private company, but it is the Chinese secret services: "From this point of view, the purchase of high-end real estate firm in the United States is our concern and underlines the need to reveal the depth of Queensway connection with the exploration of the PRC."