Maguire’s son got $3k birthday gift from Chinese businessman

 

A Chinese businessman mysteriously found drowned in a Sydney pool once gave Daryl Maguire's son James Maguire $3000 as a birthday present, according to ICAC interview documents.

Businessman Jian "Humphrey" Xu - who had also paid for some of Maguire's travel junkets to China - had previously made headlines in Australia after being ­accused of being involved in Beijing's efforts to spy on ­federal MPs.

Mr Xu, 59, has a long involvement with Daryl Maguire and was behind one of his biggest schemes - attempting to get a $400 million Chinese trade centre built in Wagga.

Mr Xu's body was found ­floating in the Fitness First pool at Sylvania in Sydney's south on June 30.

 

Humphrey Xu (left) in Wagga in 2013. Picture: Facebook
Humphrey Xu (left) in Wagga in 2013. Picture: Facebook

 

The funeral service for Mr Xu on July 13 this year. Picture: Facebook
The funeral service for Mr Xu on July 13 this year. Picture: Facebook


Shocked gym-goers rang paramedics after finding him unconscious in the water but he could not be revived and police are now preparing a report for the NSW Coroner.

Acquaintances from Wagga who met him describe him as a "mysterious figure", who always kept in the background, and, unlike many Chinese businessmen, did not hand out his business card.

As part of its investigations into Maguire, ICAC has been scrutinising Mr Xu's company ACA Capital Investments and its plans - in partnership with Chinese Communist government-owned firm Wuai Group - to build the centre, as well as its role in escorting Chinese party officials into the NSW parliament.

In a recorded interview released late last week, it was revealed Wagga businessman Julian McLaren told corruption investigators he met Mr Xu, and another woman who became Mr Xu's second business partner, Lydia Zhang, during a trip to China in July 2012.

 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian with then-Wagga MP Daryl Maguire in 2017 at a hospital in the area.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian with then-Wagga MP Daryl Maguire in 2017 at a hospital in the area.

 

"I'm reasonably confident that at some stage Daryl told me that Humphrey and Lydia had given his son a birthday present," Mr McLaren said.

"The figure in my mind is $3000 in cash.

"That seems like a lot of money, so then I thought well maybe it was $1000, but the $3000 sticks in my mind."

Mr Xu, from Guangdong, was allegedly pressured by Chinese intelligence agencies to cultivate senior Labor MPs during trips to China, it has been previously reported by Nine Media.

ICAC would not answer questions on why it did not put on the record Mr Xu's death, with a spokeswoman saying: "The Commission ­cannot comment on matters concerning an investigation beyond that mentioned in the public inquiry." There is no suspicion his death is linked to Maguire.

Originally published as Maguire's son got $3k birthday gift from Chinese businessman