Originally posted by Josta
Looks to me like the whole company was a scam. It is supposed to be a Hong Kong based oil and gas company, yet I checked the Hong Kong companies register, and no such company is registered. The only information regarding them on the internet is to do with their Super Aguri connection. Not sure how the percieved Super Aguri connection was part of their scam but it would appear to me that it was probably to give them credibility when applying for loans or products before scarpering. That is my hunch anyway.
I think you're right. About the same thing happened with Christijan Albers ' sponsor that did not pay, remember? That was also a Shanghai based sponsor, and behind it was a Dutch 'businessman', Joep van de Nieuwenhuizen, who has been followed by the Dutch state and prosecutors for a very long time, for all kinds of shady businessdeals. He is being prosecuted as we speak.
Other example: Harrie Muermans, the man who brought Robert Doornbos into Formula 1, has been arrested for white collar-crimes and moneylaundering. Just as Van der Berg, the man who sponsored several tennisplayers like Martin Verkerk. Sponsorship is a very, very shady business.
My take on sponsorship and F1: If you're in it, and you are not winning Grand Prixs and Wordtitles every two years, you lose money, even if you have big sponsors. So F1 teams behind Ferrari (basically!) accept big loses in money for their pr-purposes (Renault, Honda, Toyota, BMW, Super Aguri). Or they are genuine race-fanatics, who will have to accept money from suspect sources, unknowingly perhaps, but still. It is as simple as that.