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Child molestation reports shave off RM18.5b from property tycoon's wealth

BEIJING (July 11): A Chinese property tycoon was formally arrested yesterday for alleged child molestation. After reports of the case were leaked, the billionaire's fortune has dived from US$6.6 billion (RM27 billion) to US$4.5 billion since last Tuesday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

A video of Wang Zhenhua in custody was broadcasted by state media CCTV, which reported the detention of the 57-year-old chairman of Seazen Holdings.

AFP reported that the “Shanghai police said on their official Twitter-like Weibo account that prosecutors approved the arrest of a man surnamed Wang, along with a woman surnamed Zhou”.

The public security agency added that it takes a "zero tolerance attitude" towards cases involving crimes against minors, and will "persist in cracking down on these types of crimes".

Local authorities were cited saying “the case is under further investigation”.

The story was carried by the Chinese media said last week, alleging that Zhou had brought the nine-year-old girl from another province to Shanghai Disneyland, before sending her to Wang, whereby Zhou was paid.

The young girl then informed her mother that she had been molested, which led to the arrest of Wang and Zhou.

Earlier attempts to cover up the incident have fuelled outcry among the Chinese netizens, when a notice believed to be from a Shanghai public affairs official emerged on the Chinese web, restricting the media outlets against reporting the case.

The Chinese government is known to regulate China's media strictly, and negative news of the authorities or well-connected figures are repressed.

Seazen and other companies controlled by Wang have stakes in property development and management.

Seazen Holdings stated that Wang had been replaced as chairman of the group.

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