A woman claiming to represent commercial cleaning company Green Power - which is at the centre of a police probe for allegedly selling bogus franchise businesses - has defended the firm on Chinese radio.
Ling Ling Liang, host of an afternoon Mandarin radio talkback show on the Chinese Voice, said the caller rang with the statement shortly after 6pm yesterday, saying she would just read the statement and not answer any questions.
Ms Liang said the caller, who gave her name only as Jenny, had also told her the statement was meant exclusively for WTV and she was not to release it to the Herald.
"Basically, the statement called the franchisees liars and claimed that the business was running as normal at Green Power," Ms Liang said.
"The reason given as to why the office had to be unstaffed was because the franchisees had threatened the staff, causing two to resign and leaving one named Helen to run it - but she is not able to stay in the office all day."
Ms Liang said although the office was locked and unstaffed on Tuesday, Helen was in when she went there yesterday.
"Helen showed me the receipt of $700 that the company had paid to the franchisees who claimed they had not been paid," she added. "She also told me the doors had never been shut to the franchisees."
The Herald tried unsuccessfully again yesterday to contact Green Power.
Franchisee He Qi Ann, who paid $25,000 to Green Power for his commercial cleaning business, insisted he had not been paid, nor had he been given legitimate work.
He said he had been given cleaning assignments, including a two-month stint cleaning a cafe at Newmarket, but he had not been paid a cent from the company for the work done.
"Why would we want to make something like this up if we were getting paid from the company? Would franchisees even dare to go to the police with lies?"
Franchisees Zhou Ping, Ye Shudeng and Lucia Lu, who paid $20,000 to $25,000 each for their commercial cleaning businesses but didn't get any paid work, have laid a complaint against Green Power with the police.
Mr He added: "If Green Power say they are really telling the truth, then why don't they just come with us franchisees to the police station and we can settle the matter once and for all."