(GIN) – Namibia's Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating a $55 million deal for Chinese scanning equipment that has already put a prominent Namibian businesswoman, a Namibian and a Chinese national behind bars.
The arrests early this month of Teckla Lameck, Yang Fan and Kongo Mokoxwa were triggered by a routine inquiry under Namibia's new money-laundering legislation, which requires local banks to report suspicious movements of large sums of money.
The Chinese company, Nuctech, reportedly won an uncontested contract for high-tech x-ray scanners to be used by Namibia's airports and harbors. Namibia was to pay $12.828 million, while the Export-Import Bank of China would finance the balance of $42.52 million.
Nuctech then paid $42 million in local currency to the accounts of Lameck and Mokoxwa which investigators said were virtually cleared out within two months in a manner inconsistent "with the way in which a legitimate consulting company would operate." Recorded spending by the Lamecks including luxury cars, a new farm and paying off the mortgate on their house.
Hu Haifeng, eldest son of China's President, Hu Jintao, has since been promoted as the Party Secretary of Tsinghua Holdings, the group controlling Nuctech, and is not a suspect at this stage.