Fairfax media outlets yesterday revealed the Point Piper property Altona, which set a Sydney property price record when it was sold for $52 million two years ago, was sold to Chinese businessman Wang Zhijun via a “complex holding structure of shelf companies and holding trusts, including opaque nominee arrangements.”
Mr Wang hid the purchase behind an elderly relative in Melbourne as he did not have permanent residency status in Australia at the time of the sale.
Last week the Australian Taxation Office said the use of dummy companies by foreigners to buy Australian real estate was an area it was investigating.
Earlier this week ATO acting second commissioner Neil Olesen told a Senate estimate committee the ATO was investigating 195 properties that may have been purchased illegally by foreign investors.
The future ownership of Altono is now uncertain, in November last year Treasurer Joe Hockey forced the sale of Villa Del Mare, also a Point Piper property, after it was revealed its sale contravened foreign ownership rules.