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20 Nov 2023

Club of Mozambique

Mozambique: Chinese private security company accused of money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax evasion and forgery of documents, among other crimes

‘Authorities seize 22 guns from Gigante Panda security company in Beira – AIM’ 8 November 2023

The Mozambican Attorney General’s Office (PGR) has ordered the seizure of 22 firearms belonging to the Chinese-owned private security company, Gigante Panda Segurança, based in the central city of Beira. The PGR also ordered that the firearms that belonged to the company owned by Chinese national, Jiye Zhuo, should be taken to the General Command of the Mozambican Police (PRM). The company has been accused of money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax evasion and forgery of documents, among other crimes. According to the Beira city chief prosecutor, José Curado, the criminal case is currently in the pre-trial phase, at a time when the whereabouts of the Chinese businessman are unknown, and efforts are being made to locate him.

Curado pointed out that the case has, in the meantime, suffered some setbacks due to alleged leaks, making due diligence extremely difficult. The prosecutor guaranteed that all the other companies owned by this businessman have been closed down by the authorities. Meanwhile, over 3,000 workers at Gigante Panda Segurança are already demanding six months’ back pay and recently rioted outside the company’s premises. The first two companies owned by this investor were closed down at the end of last year, namely fuel pumps at Sena, in Caia district, on the south bank of the Zambezi. As for the forgery documents, Jiye Zhuo has an identity card indicating that he is a Mozambican citizen from the Sofala district of Búzi.

On the basis of this document, he obtained several others, including a driving license, which he has used to open over 10 companies since 2015. The Sofala prosecutor’s office has already assured that the absence of the accused does not hinder the investigations and that the justice system is gathering evidence to hold him and his accomplices responsible for all the crimes they committed. Jiye Zhuo is estimated to have defrauded the Mozambican state of more than 826 million meticais (about 13 million US dollars), in tax evasion.