China to receive significant payments for years in deal to return Irish businessman

China To Receive Significant Payments For Years In Deal To Return Irish Businessman
Richard O’Halloran was prevented from leaving China for almost three years after the Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm for which he worked became involved in a legal dispute with the Chinese authorities. Photo: PA Images
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Chinese authorities will continue to receive significant payments for the coming years after a deal was made to allow for the return of Irish businessman, Richard O'Halloran.

Mr O'Halloran has been held in China since 2019, after he travelled there during the fallout of a crowdsourcing deal over an aircraft owned by his employer, China International Aviation Leasing Service.


According to The Irish Times, Mr O'Halloran was prevented from leaving the country when the company became involved in a legal dispute with Chinese authorities.

The 46-year-old Irishman gave evidence against the business' former chairman, Min Jiedong, who was convicted of offences relating to the crowdsourcing deal, however, despite his co-operation, Chinese authorities did not allow Mr O'Halloran to return to Ireland.

Richard O'Halloran
Richard O'Halloran has been held in China for almost three years.

Authorities had also demanded €30 million of Mr O'Halloran, while large sums were also derived from income associated with the lease of the aircraft involved in the crowdsourcing deal.


On Friday, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney confirmed a deal had been made to enable Mr O'Halloran's return from China. Mr Coveney travelled to the country last year in an attempt to secure Mr O'Halloran's return home.

The businessman appeared in court twice earlier this week to sign-off on financial arrangement and future commitments to allow for his return to Ireland.

The Irish Times reports the arrangements include payments coming from the income of the aircraft, while it is also understood the aircraft must be returned to Chinese authorities when its current lease ends in 2026, in addition to the $100,000 (€90,000) monthly payments currently being paid to authorities.

Confirming the end of Mr O'Halloran's exit-ban on Friday, the Chinese embassy in Dublin tweeted: "It is expected that he continues to fulfil his pledges and commitment and undertake his corresponding legal obligations."

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