HARARE – A chinese national who allegedly changed a family friend’s company shares into his name before stealing $70 million has appeared before a Harare magistrate.
Liu Cheng Hsiao, 55, yesterday appeared before magistrate Don Ndirowei on fraud and theft of trust property charges.
Prosecutor Tungamirai Chakurira 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 that 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 own 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 to be 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 the 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 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.
Magistrate Ndirowei freed him on $1 000 bail. – Tendai Kamhungira