Court sets Chinese national free

HARARE - A Harare magistrate has freed a Chinese national accused of converting a family friend’s company shares into his name before stealing $70 million.

Magistrate Tendai Mahwe yesterday ruled that the state was not ready to put Liu Cheng Hsiao, 55, on trial after submissions that investigations were not yet complete.

Liu, through his lawyer, Jonathan Samukange had applied for refusal of remand, arguing the complainant in the case had no right to represent the company.

Samukange told the court the real complainant in the case had never been in the country and had not filed any criminal charges against his client.

Prosecutor Tungamirai Chakurira conceded that the case was “complex” and that it involved extra-territorial investigations that needed to be completed before trial opened.

He said more time was needed for the state to complete investigations. Liu was facing fraud and theft of trust property charges.

Prosecutors told the court Liu was employed by the complainant, whose name was not mentioned in court papers.

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 had been alleged Liu, 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 last 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.

The complainant transferred $70 million, which the state claims Liu failed to account for. - Tendai Kamhungira

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.