Two Chinese businessmen arrested for money laundering

Two Chinese businessmen arrested for money laundering

MASERU – TWO businessmen of Chinese descent are in jail awaiting trial after they failed to raise surety at the Maseru magistrate’s court last Thursday. Lee Laan, 23, and Chan Kuren, 56, from Thabaneng in Mafeteng, are facing charges of money laundering.
The two however managed to pay bail deposits of M20 000 each.

The police said the businessmen were arrested after a long investigation.
Police spokesman Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli told a press conference on Monday that the two men had huge deposits in their bank accounts, far more than what they were earning.

Supt Mopeli could not be drawn into revealing how much was in the accounts and if the monies were earned legally.
He however said the men’s accounts were busy.

Huge amounts of money were deposited in the accounts in local banks and the following day the monies would be withdrawn in China.
Supt Mopeli said Laan and Kuren claimed that these large amounts of money were their monthly salaries but what was surprising was that “the salaries were deposited in their accounts almost every day”.
That was what raised the police’s suspicions.

“It seemed the Chinese men have several briefcase companies through which they deposited huge amounts of monies in their bank accounts,” he said.
Supt Mopeli said the men were in possession of illegal work permits and other documents.
He said the police are widening their net in the investigations and some government officials are likely to be interrogated on how the two got the documents.

Meanwhile, Small Businesses Development Minister Chalane Phori last week threatened to deport Chinese nationals who are working and living in Lesotho illegally. Efforts to get comment from the Chinese embassy were not successful last night.

Majobere Selebalo

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