Insiders have confirmed that Aquis and Tony Fung have stormed out of negotiations for the Sheraton Mirage Gold Coast. The breakdown is said to have ended in shouting and racial epithets between Fung and the Mirage owner, Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, currently under investigation by Indian authorities for running several Ponzi schemes.
Bhangoo, a former milk salesman, was forced by the Indian corporate regulator SEBI to undertake the Mirage sale after being ordered to make a refund of R49,100 crore (just over AU$1Billion) to defrauded investors around the world (including some in Australia).
Bhangoo and his board were said to have had an inside track with the Campbell Newman government, a track that went awry when Newman and his clown school were ejected by the voters. And Bhangoo and his mob are under investigation in Brisbane for fraud that involves the Newman government and fraudulent rental subsidies at Brooklyn on Brooks, Chelsea Apartments (Bowen Hills), and the Meridian Apartments at Mayne. Failure to close on the sale of the Gold Coast Mirage may provide the media for people to chase all of 2016. Stay tuned. . . .
However the Fungs look to have problems of their own. The Fung plans for the Gold Coast mirrored the announced plans for Aquis in Cairns - another so-called $8B investment in hotels, apartments, and a casino. (It's no coincidence that the plans have the number '8' in them - this being the Chinese 'lucky number'). It's more Fung bullshit. Australian publications continue to kowtow to the Fungs and their "billions" despite there being scant evidence of this fortune.
Take the infamous Tony Fung Boeing 757. Purchased after Google executives found it "too small", Fung used the toy to fly a few groups of highly-placed communist party apparatchiks to Cairns in his attempt to jumpstart Aquis. However with China starting Year 3 of a casino and money-laundering crackdown (which has seen President Xi Jinpeng jail much of the Fung-aged "old guard"), Tony's got few friends now in China.
If these were just "big resorts", he might be able to get them off the ground. But calling them "casinos" is now the kiss of death in China.
James Packer just resigned from the board of their Macau casino properties - with rumours ranging from a public offering to bankruptcy of these companies. The situation is dire for the Chinese casino business.
Insiders claim Fung has buckled at the Mirage negotiating table knowing he's unlikely now to build anything in Australia. It is said he's used the excuse that Bhangoo and his Pearls Group failed to deliver the continuing endorsement of the Sheraton Hotel (Starwood) who were already skittish about Fung and had refused a spot as an Aquis hotel. Fung had been hoping the Starwood chain would be sold to one of three Chinese bidders; at least one of them had internal links to the Fung family. With Starwood being purchased by the Mormon Church-controlled Marriott Hotels, gambling is surely the last thing they're going to be interested in supporting.
The Tony Fung Show is about over. The props are for sale
(the jet, listed with the text "motivated seller who's just authorized a SECOND $5MILLION PRICE REDUCTION") along with the condo in Harbour Lights.
It's not easy being Donald Trump.
Editor's Note: This article about the crackdown underway in China is worth a special read by all Australians: