According to a report in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, officers from the United States Department of Homeland Security have seized a stockpile of aluminium valued at US$25 million that is alleged to have ties to China Zhongwang’s Liu Zhongtian.
This move by the United States government is the latest step in the journey to an allegedly well-traveled aluminium stockpile. As covered previously by AI and others, a significant stockpile of aluminium was discovered at the Aluminicaste Fundición de México S. de RL de CV plant in San José Iturbide, Guanajuato, a firm that Liu Zhongtian’s son Liu Zuopeng is listed as a representative with the local government. As the stockpiles in Mexico have begun to attract unwanted attention, Liu’s group allegedly began moving the remaining 1.5 million metric tons out of North America and to a particular destination in Vietnam on the outskirts of Bien Hoa called Global Vietnam Aluminium (GVA).
Reports indicate that the stockpile, which takes the form of aluminium pallets, were seized while in the possession of Perfectus Aluminum Inc., which is a firm created by the merger of Pengcheng Aluminum Enterprise Inc. USA and six other legal entities. Liu Zuopeng was CEO, CFO, and secretary for Pengcheng and his wife, Liu Chengcheng, served as that firm’s director.
Federal court documents referenced in reports say that DHS is conducting tests on samples of the seized aluminium to determine whether it is restricted under United States law. In addition, DHS and Justice Department investigators are looking into the possibility that parties involved with the stockpile have committed civil and/or criminal violations, including smuggling, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit the same. Further, the Wall Street Journal reports that DHS agents have questioned former employees of businesses with which Liu is alleged to have connections.
Representatives speaking on behalf of China Zhongwang and Liu have consistently maintained that both parties have committed no wrongdoing.