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Sunday 31 August 2014

Bordeaux copter crash victim identified

16th January, 2014 by Lucy Shaw

A body found in the Dordogne river last weekend has been formally identified as one of the victims from the recent helicopter crash in Bordeaux.

Lam Kok (second right) and James Gregoire pose outside Château de la Riviere in Fronsac following its sale for a reported €30m to Kok on 19 December. A day later, both were killed in a helicopter crash. Credit: Getty Images/AFP

Lam Kok (second right) and James Gregoire pose outside Château de la Riviere in Fronsac following its sale for a reported €30m to Kok on 19 December. A day later, both were killed in a helicopter crash. Credit: Getty Images/AFP

AFP reports that the body of Chinese translator and financial advisor Peng Wang was identified using DNA samples from his daughter and DNA found on his toothbrush.

Wang’s body was discovered 10 kilometres from the site of the crash and, according to AFP, was “not recognisable”.

The bodies of billionaire Chinese businessman Lam Kok and Château de la Riviere’s former owner James Gregoire are yet to be found.

Kok owned the Hong Kong-based Brilliant group, which deals in rare teas and luxury hotels.

The body of Kok’s 12-year-old son, Shun Yu Kok, was found earlier this month inside the remains of the helicopter.

Shortly before the crash, Wang had been made financial director of the Brilliant group’s French operation and assisted in Kok’s purchase of Château de la Riviere in Fronsac in a deal estimated to be worth in the region of €30m.

Kok bought the 65-hectare estate on 19 December with the aim of building a hotel nearby and running tea and wine tasting events.

Just one day later, during a celebratory tour of the vineyard by air, the helicopter Kok, his son and his financial advisor were flying in crashed. It was piloted by Gregoire.

Last week, a group of activists claimed the crash was not an accident in a letter to French daily newspaper Midi Libre, an allegation the château strongly denies.

The letter was signed Comité d’action agricoles and is thought to be the work of CAV (Comité d’action viticole), a group of activist winemakers from the Languedoc.

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