I’m sure you’ve all heard of feng shui, but you wouldn’t believe how seriously everyone takes it over here… lots of our friends won’t rent an apartment until their feng shui master has been through it and people won’t move on just any day–it has to be a date vetted by the master. It’s serious stuff. So it comes as no surprise that when the richest woman in China’s husband was kidnapped, a feng shui advisor was hired to help dig him up… but the rest of the story… well all I can say you really can’t make this stuff up! And only in China. Excerpted from the Reuters story.
Nina Wang’s former feng shui adviser and lover Tony Chan lost a bid for her $12 billion estate, with Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal upholding a ruling that a will in his favor was forged and the property should go to charity.
Chan claimed Wang left him her fortune after a 15-year intimate relationship that began when he was hired to help find her kidnapped husband Teddy, with whom she built Chinachem into one of Hong Kong’s biggest closely held developers.
The fight is quite similar to the fight Wang waged to get control of her husband’s will in 2005 overturning rulings by lower courts in 2002 and 2004 that gave the fortune to her father-in-law, Wang Din-shin. Wang was also arrested during her dispute over the title to the property on charges she forged the will. Police dropped the charges after the Court of Final Appeal’s ruling.
Wang, who died of uterine cancer at the age of 69 in 2007, had no children. She married Teddy in 1955 at the age of 18. The couple turned a Shanghai paint and chemical business, started by Teddy’s father, into a property developer with a portfolio including the Chinachem twin towers and Chinachem Exchange Square.
Teddy Wang was kidnapped in 1983 and again in 1990. He wasn’t returned after the second abduction even though his wife paid part of the ransom. One of the captured kidnappers said Teddy Wang’s body was dumped into the sea from a small boat.
Nina ran Chinachem using a power of attorney, insisting Teddy was alive. When her father-in-law had Teddy legally declared dead in 1999, she said Teddy had made her his heir in a new will signed just before his kidnapping. Chan, who is married with three children, was hired by Wang in 1992 to help find her husband by using the Chinese geomantic practice of feng shui, according to Lam’s judgment. Chan dug holes at various sites owned by Chinachem for seven years, and received about HK$2.1 billion from her between 2005 and 2006. Chan testified at last year’s trial that his sexual relationship with Wang began a month after they met.
The head of Chinachem’s Charitable Foundation gave out chocolates yesterday to reporters to celebrate his–and hopefully the poor will who will also benefit from the–billion dollar victory.