Bankrupt businesswoman May Wang, who led an unsuccessful effort to buy more than a dozen dairy farms owned by the Crafar family, has appeared in court in Hong Kong to face bribery and money laundering charges. She was remanded on bail.
Her company was attempting to buy the farms on behalf of Natural Dairy, a company based in Hong Kong.
Ms Wang is accused of conspiring with an absentee defendant, Chen Keen, and others, to offer two properties in Auckland and about $12 million in a bribe.
In return, Mr Chen would have used his position as executive director of Natural Dairy to get that company to buy another company Ms Wang owned.
Serious Fraud Office personnel will have ongoing involvement in the case.
SFO head Adam Feeley says that while much of the alleged offending took place in New Zealand, most of the players including the victims are Hong Kong nationals, so it made more sense to lay the prosecution there.