The Telegraph are running with a fascinating story regarding the 'goings-on' in China.
Two men, both, at some stage, employed by GlaxoSmithKline, are facing trial over the coming months. One for mastering a network of bribery, the other, well, it's unknown exactly what he is being tried for?
Peter Humphrey is set to face the Chinese gavel on Aug 7th. Initial reports suggested that both he and his wife, Yu Yingzeng were arrested for breaching data protection rules. The Telegraph elaborate further and now claim that the pair's arrest is in connection with Humphrey's investigation of a former employee of GSK.
This is quite a scoop as the arrest of Humphrey was clouded in mystery - nobody knew if it was in connection with GSK - Now, according to the Telegraph, it appears that his arrest is in direct connection with the investigation he carried out for the British based pharmaceutical company.
GSK executives were sent a series of emails that alleged that bribery was rife amongst their operations in China and the main man behind the bribery network was GSK's Mark Reilly.
GSK then hired the services of ChinaWhys, a company run by Peter Humphrey and his wife.
Humphrey targeted Vivian Shi, GSK's former head of government affairs. His investigation of her could have possibly been done by using illegal means - hence his arrest.
Question is, who informed the Chinese authorities that he was investigating Vivian Shi? Did Shi catch wind and inform the Chinese authorities?
The Telegraph are using the human interest angle in their article.
Humphrey and his wife are currently being held in Shanghai’s Pudong District Detention House, they, as expected, have been segregated and have no contact with one another. Their son, Harvey, has not been allowed to visit them but, according to the Telegraph, "officials from the British consulate are allowed to collect letters from his father."
The Telegraph have had access to some of those letters, they write..
Last November he said was suffering “severe frequent pain” in both legs, and numbness in his right leg. “Seems to be a blood circulation problem,” he wrote.
In January, he wrote: “All I get now is one sleeping pill and in the morning one so-called pain killer. But the reality is that I am in constant pain from my legs and joints and my damaged spine, especially the neck vertebrae. And I am not getting any treatment from my prostate problem now or any further investigations into it [ ...] I need surgery on my hernia.
"I simply despair over my collapsing health and mummy’s.”
Of his wife Mr Humphrey wrote: “I have spoken to other prisoners who have seen her and they say she is in constant pain from joint problems caused by her confined conditions. They say her weight has fallen to below 40kg (six stone). I have lost 10kg of body weight and am very skinny.”
The Telegraph are also reporting that a Whitehall official involved in representations to the Chinese over Mr Humphrey’s detention claimed that GSK refused to reveal the reasons why they had originally employed his services and that this impeded British attempts to intervene on his behalf.
The official said: “GSK were really cagey. They just kept saying it was routine work and kept the information deliberately vague. When we went to the Chinese we were arguing with one hand tied behind our backs.”
On the flip side of the coin we see GSK's Mark Reilly who faces charges that, as far as I am aware, are far more serious...yet, Reilly, it appears, is not being detained in any Chinese prison, he has just been told that he cannot leave the country.
Where exactly is Mark Reilly and why is he being afforded the luxury of not having to spend his time in a detention centre whilst he awaits trial?
I feel for Humphrey and his wife Yu Yingzeng, I feel for their son, Harvey.
It would appear that Glaxo don't seem to be bothered about the wellbeing of the very same people they hired to investigate bribery allegations.
Glaxo boss, Andrew Witty, remains tight-lipped about the whole sordid affair. Meantime, Peter Humphrey and Yu Yingzeng have the prospect of facing a trial while their health deteriorates inside Pudong District Detention House.
There's been some string pulling here, I'm sure of it. I can't prove it though but would love to be a fly on the wall when Humphrey and his wife go to trial. Sadly, Chinese authorities are conducting the trial in secrecy on August 7.
One has to ask why and whether or not the British Prime Minister and Andrew Witty have had an influence in proceedings.
If, by any chance, Harvey, Peter Humphrey's son, reads this blog post of mine, I'd love for him to get in touch, maybe write a guest post.
I'm not a fan of GlaxoSmithKline, I suspect neither he, Peter Humphrey and Yu Yingzeng are fans either.
The article in the Telegraph, 'GSK crisis: Two British fathers face Chinese prison in a tale of corruption and sex.', can be read here.
Glaxo - The Sex Tape Scandal
Peter Humphrey's 2012 Presentation - Pharma Bribery
GSK's Chinese Whispers and David Cameron