Chinese national in shares scam challenges remand placement

HARARE - A Chinese national who allegedly converted a family friend’s company shares into his name before stealing $70 million has challenged his placement on remand.

The man Liu Cheng Hsiao, 55, through his lawyer Musindo Hungwe yesterday challenged his placement on remand, denying any wrong-doing.

He claims there was no complainant in the matter, adding the allegations were vague.

Liu who is facing fraud and theft of trust property charges told the court considering the circumstances in the case, the allegations did not constitute a crime hence he should be set free.

The state is today expected to respond to the application.

Prosecutors told the court Liu was employed by the complainant, whose name was not mentioned in court papers during the time the alleged crime was committed. The complainant is the owner of a company called Fok Hing Industries, based in Hong Kong.

The court heard Liu came into the country to manage Fok Hing Industries’ seven subsidiary companies after he was seconded by the complainant, following the collapse of his company in Taiwan.

The company’s shareholders were Wong Shu Wai and Tsoi Yu Yu.

It is alleged Liu, however, went on to fraudulently appoint himself and his wife Luan Shen as directors of the company on a 50 percent each shareholding capacity.

He became a signatory to the companies’ three bank accounts.

The court further heard between 2002 and March this year Liu would ask for money to run business in the country.

He claimed some of the money was meant to pay service providers, the court heard.

It is alleged the complainant transferred $70 million to supplied bank accounts and to service providers as indicated by Liu.

The court heard, last year the complainant asked for financial returns from Liu but nothing came up.

The complainant then came into the country to seek clarification from Liu. According to state papers, Liu failed to account for $70 million that had been injected into the company, leading to his arrest. - Tendai Kamhungira

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