The son of a British man imprisoned in China for investigating a former GlaxoSmithKline employee’s links to the Chinese government has blamed the drug company for his father’s plight, according to The Telegraph.
Peter Humphrey, 58, a British private detective, and his wife, Yu Yingzeng, have languished in a Chinese jail for a year after he was charged with accessing private information on Chinese citizens illegally in the course of his investigation of Vivian Shi, GSK’s former government relations manager, and her connections to the Chinese government. They were to go on trial in Shanghai on Monday.
Humphrey was commissioned to investigate Shi after a secretly filmed video showing a GSK executive having sex with his girlfriend inside their private apartment was sent to senior GSK executives. The video was apparently a message targeting Mark Reilly, the British chief of GSK’s China division, who was conducting his own internal company inquiry into whether Chinese employees of GSK had paid bribes to promote the company’s products.
But GSK did not tell Humphrey of the existence of the sex tape or the bribery allegations until weeks after he had started his investigation. The company also did not tell him about a series of detailed emails that a whistleblower had sent GSK executives alleging a bribery scheme.
Instead, GSK asked Humphrey to find out what Shi’s exact links were to China’s government.
Business Insider left three messages with GSK spokespersons requesting comment, but we did not immediately hear back.
Harvey Humphrey, 19, told The Telegraph: “I do not feel different at all about China. I would not blame this on China. The cause is not the Chinese, it is GSK”:
But GSK allegedly denied to Mr. Humphrey and his wife that any of the allegations of bribery in the whistleblower’s emails were true.
‘They said the allegations were untrue,’ said Harvey. ‘Then two weeks later they said actually these things did happen. My father would have changed the conditions of the investigation if he had known. He would have investigated the allegations instead of this one person. I do not think as an investigator you would have taken the risk of investigating a whistleblower before you investigated the allegations.’
… ‘When I saw my dad last Friday, I mentioned GSK once. I mentioned Reilly to him once. He expressed a very low opinion of Reilly.’
GSK fired 20 Chinese staff after the whistleblower emails emerged. GSK says it investigated the claims but could not verify them specifically. “While some fraudulent behaviour relating to expense claims was found, we did not at that time find evidence to substantiate the specific allegations,” the company said at the time.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.