Two Russians kept by force at bankrupt plant in China

SHANGHAI, August 11 (Itar-Tass) —— For four days running, two Russian nationals have been kept against their will at a Russian enterprise that ran bankrupt in China’s city of Hangzhou, a source in the Russian consulate general in Shanghai told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

According to the source, Chinese partners and workers of the bankrupt Advento enterprise do not let the director general and an interpreter to leave the territory of the enterprise demanding to repay wage arrears and debts to partners.

Local police see to it that force is not used against the Russian subjects but makes no effort to set them free.

The enterprise’s owner, who is in Russia’s Siberian city of Irkutsk, is trying to find the money to repay at least a part of the debts, interpreter Olga Borisevich told Itar-Tass over the phone. “We never though things might turn out this way. After the owner announced bankruptcy we wanted to do everything in compliance with the Chinese law: the property and commodity stocks are arrested by court ruling and all arrears and debts are repaid from the money obtained after their sale,” she said. “However it takes time and Chinese suppliers want their money right now. We are virtually hostages, they threaten to beat us up or even to kill.” According to her, Chinese businessmen are extremely aggressive and only police presence prevents a bloodshed.

Founded some two and a half years ago, the Advento plant manufactured shower cubicles. Wage arrears to the workers stand at 250,000 yuans (38,500 U.S. dollars), and debts to suppliers reach three million yuans (462,000 U.S. dollars).

The Russian consulate general is taking efforts to have the Chinese authorities have a say in the situation and see to it that the commercial dispute is solved in the frameworks of the law. Russian diplomats are in constant contact with the Russians blocked at the enterprise in Hangzhou.

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