Irish Richard O’Halolan was allowed to return from China three years later

The Irish government has confirmed that Irish businessman Richard O’Halolan, who has been prevented from leaving China for nearly three years, will be allowed to return.

Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Friday that he was “delighted” to confirm that the restrictions imposed on O’Halolan had been lifted and that he would soon be able to return to Ireland.

Coveny said his department is working to ensure the safe return of O’Halolan. The minister visited China last year to ensure the release of Irish from travel bans.

Richard O’Halloran, 46, director of the China International Aviation Leasing Service (CALS), left his home in Dublin in February 2019 and headed to Shanghai, China. After he was involved in an investigation into his employer Min Jie-dong’s crowdfunding activity, it turned out that he was at a loss for nearly three years when he thought it was a short business trip.

O’Halolan’s employer, Min, has invested in dozens of countries around the world, including the aircraft leasing company CALS Ireland, where he was chairman and major shareholder.

Min’s funds were raised through peer-to-peer crowdfunding and boasted as a pioneering business model “P2F2B + PDP (individual to financial institution, company, pre-delivery payment)”.

Min’s business model has been widely praised by Chinese media and business magazines for being innovative until Chinese authorities began cracking down on lenders and were accused of deceiving investors in July 2018 when they landed in prison. it was done.

The fundraiser took place before O’Halolan was hired, and the Irish were not charged or accused of cheating. But he was not allowed to leave China.

In a statement released Friday, the Irish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: The government is actively working on this issue and is pleased to have achieved successful results. “

“The minister wants Mr. O’Halolan to have a happy reunion with his family,” the statement said.

Foreign Minister Coveny wrote on Twitter: Thank you to everyone who helped. After Richard and his family have had a traumatic three years, I hope their privacy will be respected on his return. “

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said: We thank the work of many people in Ireland and China for helping us make this day a reality. It was a very difficult journey for him and his family. Think about them today. “

Lily Zhou and PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan