The billionaire founder of a property firm in Shanghai was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of molesting an underage girl, local media reported.
The Putuo district people’s procuratorate in Shanghai announced that it approved the arrest of a man surnamed Wang and a woman surnamed Zhou on suspicion of molesting a 9-year-old girl in late June.
The pair was detained by Shanghai police on July 3 after police received complaints from the girl’s mother. Xinmin Evening News identified the man as 57-year-old Wang Zhenhua, then chairman of the board of Seazen – a real estate developer based in Shanghai and listed in both Shanghai and Hong Kong.
It reported that the alleged crime happened in a five-star hotel in Shanghai on June 29, leaving the girl with injuries to her vagina.
The girl, who is from Shanghai’s neighboring Jiangsu province, made a phone call about the incident to her mother, who was in Jiangsu. The mother contacted Shanghai police afterward, Xinmin Evening News reported.
The 9-year-old and a 12-year-old girl were taken to the hotel by Zhou, a friend of the 9-year-old’s mother.
Zhou told the mother that she took the girl to Shanghai to visit Disneyland, according to the report.
Seazen published a notice on July 3 saying that the company’s chairman Wang Zhenhua had been detained by police for personal reasons, and his son Wang Xiaosong was elected at a board meeting to take over.
On July 5, Seazen issued a public apology.
“As a listed company … we feel deeply sorry for the pain felt by the victim and the victim’s family who are caught up in the storm,” the statement said.
The company said it was shocked about the alleged involvement by its founder in the incident. The incident triggered public rage, media rebukes and calls for a thorough investigation of Wang’s possible involvement with other children.
The company’s stock endured consecutive losses after the incident was made public.
The Putuo district police said on Wednesday an investigation is underway. It also encouraged members of the public to come forward with information.