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February 4, 2010

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HK cops nab estate claimant

HONG Kong police yesterday arrested a 50-year-old fortune teller accused of forging a will that left him the multibillion dollar estate of his late lover, tycoon Nina Wang, who was once Asia's richest woman.

Two wills emerged after Wang died of cancer at age 69 in April 2007. One left her fortune to a charity she set up with her late husband and another named feng shui adviser Tony Chan Chun-chuen as the beneficiary.

A Hong Kong court on Tuesday sided with the charity, ruling the will that benefited Chan is a forgery.

Hong Kong police spokeswoman Anne Lam said police arrested Chan yesterday afternoon in connection to a document forgery case. Lam said Chan wasn't immediately charged.

Television footage showed a police motorcade leaving the residential complex where Chan lives, but many of the vehicles were curtained. Lam said officers took computers and documents from Chan's house.

The will case fascinated this money-worshipping southern Chinese city with its juicy detail about Chan's affair with Wang, who was nicknamed "Little Sweetie" for her girlish outfits and pigtail hairdo.

Chan, who started seeing Wang when his wife was pregnant with their eldest son, said they were genuinely in love, sharing a passion for cooking, model helicopters and feng shui - the Chinese art of improving luck by arranging objects or choosing dates.

But High Court Judge Lam Man-hon ruled against Chan on Tuesday, describing him as a scheming sycophant who used a forged will to cheat Wang of her fortune.

Wang's company, the privately held Chinachem Group, is worth at least tens of billions of Hong Kong dollars, according to her family.

Chan on Tuesday said he was innocent and that he will appeal.


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