TWO Chinese nationals based in Mafeteng were recently arraigned before the Maseru Magistrate Court to face charges of corruption and money laundering involving the sums totaling M19 million.
The two suspects are Lan Li aged 23 years and Curen Chen aged 56.
They were arrested after a joint operation by the Lesotho Mounted Police and the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO). Mr Curen was granted bail on Thursday after paying M10 000 and providing surety worth M300 000. Mr Lan is still in custody after failing to pay M20 000 and provide a surety of M 250 000.
The case will be heard on Thursday.
Mr Curen stands accused of four counts of corruption which includes money laundering in violation of the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act of 1999 as amended in 2006 and Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act of 2008.
In the first count, Mr Curen is accused of committing the offence of corruption on 8 February this year after he was found in M9 973 000 which he had withdrawn from Standard Lesotho Bank and he allegedly failed to give a satisfactory explanation to PIO Phasumane, of the DCEO “as to how such pecuniary resources of property came under his control of possession”.
He is also accused of corruption after he was also found in possession of M6 862 085, 78 which had withdrawn from First National Bank which he also failed to give a satisfactory explanation to PIO Phasumane as to how he acquired it. The money laundering offence attracts a prison sentence of not less 24 months.
Mr Lan’s case dates back to “between October 2016 and July 2017 at or near First National Bank” where he was found in possession of M1 757 020, 39.
The offence also carries a minimum prison sentence of not less than 24 months.