Apart from past connections with the Clintons, local billionaire Ng Lap Seng had also had former ties with the current Republican party candidate for the US Presidential Election, Donald Trump, the Wall Street Journal reported.
According to the newspaper, the Macau developer, who is currently under investigation in the US for alleged corruption, joined Trump and other locally renowned investors in a bid for a gaming licence in 2001, with the consortium planning to operate from the Fortuna Hotel, a property on the Macau Peninsula owned by Mr. Ng, and invest US$1.4 billion (MOP11.1 billion) if the bid was successful.
According to reports cited by the newspaper, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Holdings would have been the casino operator for a Macau company called Baia da Nossa Senhora Entertainment Company.
Other partners of Mr. Trump and Mr. Ng for the casino bid included Hong Kong billionaire and property developer Joseph Lau Luen Hung, currently a fugitive having been found guilty of bribery and money laundering by Macau courts in 2014 and sentenced to five and half years in prison.
Another renowned partner in the Trump deal mentioned in the report was Nina Wang, a Hong Kong billionaire property developer considered Asia’s richest woman when she passed away in 2007.
However, after the bid process, only three licences were awarded whilst Mr. Trump’s consortium finished in the bottom half of a group of 18 bidders, after factors such as experience, pledged investment levels and ability to create jobs were taken into consideration, the WSJ reported.
‘This was not a deal Mr. Trump was seriously considering’, Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump said, as quoted by the newspaper.
The local businessman is currently under house arrest in the US for allegedly bribing former ex-president of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, John Ashe, in exchange for support from the global organisation to build a conference centre in the MSAR through his development company Sun Kian Ip Group.
The Macau developer’s connections to Democrat Party candidate Hillary Clinton were revealed in US congressional reports three years prior to his joint bid with Donald Trump. The then-report revealed that the local businessman had played a role in a campaign finance scandal involving former US President Bill Clinton.
In 1998, US House and Senate committee reports found that Mr. Ng was included in a group of donors to the Democratic National Committee that had illegally funnelled foreign money, the WSJ reported.
According to the committee reports, Mr. Ng made donations to the Democratic National Committee in co-operation with Charlie Trie, a mutual friend of the Clintons, which enabled the local businessman to attend a 1994 presidential gala in Washington, and visit the White House ten times in two years.
US federal investigations haven’t implicated the Clintons in the scandal, with Mr. Trie pleading guilty to campaign financing violations. However, while Mr. Ng admitted to having provided money to Mr. Trie, the Macau billionaire claims to have no knowledge of the use the money was put to.