Plea to Chinese to let businessman home for Christmas to see family


The wife of an Irish businessman trapped in China for Christmas has appealed to the Chinese authorities to let her husband come home quickly.

Mrs Teresa Deasy said last night that her two children, Tara (6) and Sinéad (4), are expecting Santa to deliver their daddy on time for the big day.

Her husband, Mr Gerard Deasy, was recruiting students in the north-eastern Chinese city of Shenyang for his Tralee-based English language school, Eurolang Ltd, when he had his passport confiscated in early November.

The Chinese embassy in Dublin said in a statement yesterday that police in Shenyang had requested Mr Deasy to stay in China to help with an investigation into a Chinese-English language recruitment agent.

Mr Deasy said in a telephone interview from the Chinese city of Dalian that he was being victimised by individuals who were unhappy he had cancelled visas for 63 Chinese students. He said he cancelled the visas on the grounds that they did not meet Irish Department of Justice guidelines. He said he was also unhappy with the information the students supplied.

Some 37 of the visa applications he cancelled involved illegal Chinese agents. Yet, while he has been forced to remain in China, Mr Deasy said one of these illegal agents, a woman, is now in Co Kerry. He said he has informed gardaí of this.

Mr Deasy claimed last night that the Chinese police originally said they would give him back his passport if he paid $20,000 they claim he collected from students. He said in order to get home he has agreed to pay $8,000 and this has been accepted by the police. He last saw his family in September before he left for China on business.

Mr Deasy told The Irish Times he had been "set-up" and he agreed to pay $8,000 so he could leave the country. He said it would take him some days to pay the money and did not expect to get home until next week. The Chinese Embassy statement said Mr Deasy is accused of working along with an illegal Chinese agent to help recruit Chinese citizens to study or work in Ireland.

"They promised to help these Chinese citizens to get visas and working permissions to Ireland. In this way, they collected more than $10,000 and RMB 2,000 (the equivalent of around $200) as the mortgage money from 58 people."

The statement said Mr Deasy and his Chinese partners had "failed to fulfil the promises for these people and refused to refund them either.

"According to Chinese law, the Shenyang police held his passport. But no action was taken to restrict Mr Deasy's freedom. The concerned authority in Liaoning Province has informed the Irish Embassy to China about this case on November 15th," the embassy statement concluded.

Mr Deasy said he was aware of the statement and completely rejected the allegations against him.

He claimed he was "on the breadline" and wanted desperately to be home for Christmas.