Several Chinese arrested for flouting currency regulations

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A Chinese businessman in Namibia is in danger of losing the equivalent of more than N$4,5 million to the State after he pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge that he had tried to illegally take more than U$$431 000 out of Namibia.

Reports today say Chen Jianguo pleaded guilty to five charges under charges Namibia’s Exchange Control Regulations.

Chen, owns a shop at Oshikango’s China Town, admitted that he contravened the Customs and Excise Act by not declaring that he was bringing US$431 492 into Namibia between September and November last year.

He is also said to have admitted that he contravened the Exchange Control Regulations of 1961 at Hosea Kutako International Airport on November 14 last year by trying to take US$431 492 – the equivalent of N$4,573 million at the current exchange rate – out of Namibia without authority from the Treasury.

Chen, when arrested, offered bribes to three officials at the airport in a futile attempt to persuade them not to go through with the arrest.

He had offered a bribe of US$10 000 to a Police Constable, a bribe of N$870 to another official, and a bribe of N$700 to a third official.

Meanwhile, this week alone police there say they have arrested 17 foreign businesspeople, most of them Chinese, at Oshakati, Ondangwa, Ongwediva and Oshikango.

Chief Inspector Golden Naanda told a press conference at Oshakati yesterday that the Police in Oshana had received a tip-off about illegal exchanging of foreign currency by foreign businesspeople.

He said the Police conducted an undercover operation in Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa on Monday.

Six Chinese businesspeople, one Indian and one Angolan businessperson were arrested at Oshakati and Ondangwa, and an Indian businessman was arrested at Ongwediva. Other reports say that, eight Chinese businesspeople were arrested at Oshikango.

In terms of Namibia’s Exchange Control Regulations, nobody other than an authorised bank is allowed to buy or sell foreign currency in the country.

The maximum sentence for this offence is a N$250 000 fine, or five year’s imprisonment, or both.

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