Chinese nationals on money laundering charges acquitted
23 February, 2019, 10:15 am
“IN Fiji, as with all countries founded on the English system of criminal justice, one cannot be found guilty by mere association.”
This was the comment by Suva Magistrate Waleen George when acquitting three Chinese nationals charged with several counts of money laundering yesterday.
Hannan Wang and Guangwu Wang were charged with two counts of money laundering while Xuhuan Yang was charged with one count of money laundering.
It was alleged that Hannan and Guangwu engaged in laundering money to a sum of $687,109.14 between June 9, 2015 and June 24, 2015, in Suva.
It was also alleged that Yang engaged in laundering money to a total sum of $8500 on June 18, 2015, in Suva.
All three pleaded not guilty to the charges.
She said according to the State, the three accused managed the two companies — Chunxiao Tour Company and Jintong Trading Company.
Magistrate George said an investigator from the ANZ Banking Corporation was of the view that money had been sent into the two companies as a result of credit card skimming.
“It was a case where the bank having found no documents to support the transactions and being unable to contact the named account holders, mitigated risk by reversing a significant amount of transactions that they deemed suspicious,” she said.
She said that the evidence the State relies on is insufficient to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the three accused knew or ought to have known that the monies they had withdrawn came from unlawful activity.