Niece and nephew to the Sunshine founder/MD and others run fraudulent practices that broke an uncle who empowered them.
Fired GM, Accountant, Cashier and Site Foreman Defraud Business of Millions – Records Show.
Personal Companies registered as ‘suppliers/subcontractors’, fake invoices, forged projects drain millions with no delivery for money laundering and tax evasion
Family ties in tatters, CID in pursuit of justice.
Mr Jian Liu, the founder of Sunshine Construction, is counting heavy losses after the now fired General Manager, Accountant, Cashier and Site Foreman who are also related to the business owner (Liu) ran intricate networks of fraud that include amongst others; registering more than half a dozen companies masquerading as suppliers / subcontractors during their employ at the company, creating false invoices and forging delivery for projects that drained millions of Pulas from the business for money laundering and tax evasion purposes records show.
Former GM, Li Yong (39) is the husband of Liu’s niece named Liu Linlin (38), who was the accountant, former cashier Zhu Peng (32) is his nephew, and Li Pizeng (50) is uncle to Li Yong.
“Niece and her husband came to join the company in 2007. She was the closest thing to family to me. Having worked with her and her husband for three years I trusted them and left the operations of the business under their care from 2010 when I relocated to Canada. I left signed cheque book leaves, letterheads with my signature in pursuit of ease of operations of the business in my absence. I provided them my house, cars for them to use, food for free and all of their expenses at my cost because they are family. Little did I know that I was opening myself to a brood of vipers,” says Mr Liu.
The free fall in operations saw an increase in companies registered under Mr Liu’s niece and husband, Liu Linlin and Li Yong (respectively), his nephew Zhu Peng and Li Pizeng, uncle to Li Yong, who were in charge of the business. Records indicate that Goldfield Investments Pty LTD owned by Li Yong and Liu Lin made 17 fraudulent claims, whilst Material Masters owned by Zhu Peng made 14 running a tab of millions of Pulas for projects they never delivered on. In some instances, their friends were used as suppliers for projects at exorbitant costs. These companies are registered under the said former employees. The Serious Crime Squad division through correspondence with the company has confirmed the investigation of the said crimes in a letter dated 12th November 2019.
Registered names for these companies are Goldfield Investments Pty LTD owned by Li Yong and Liu Linlin, registered on the 4th of May 2012, City and Village Pty LTD owned by the same couple registered on the 30th of August 2012, Golden Hawk (Autoemo Motor) Pty LTD owned by Zhu Peng registered on the 14th of July 2014, Material Masters owned by Zhu Peng registered on the 9th of December 2014, Cherish Holding Pty LTD owned by Li Yong and his friend registered 18th September 2015, Paradise Melody Investment Pty LTD owned by Li Yong and Liu Linlin, registered in 2018 which was operated under Sunshine offices selling pianos.
“They forged invoices, forged signatures, forged delivery of projects, used friends’ companies as suppliers to drain the business. They even created a fake VAT Number for one of the companies. They opened many accounts under their companies and personal names for money laundering and tax evasion purposes.
When they realised that their actions will have consequences, they reported the business to BURS and made false media claims about our business and processes from the mess they created. We are pleased that all evidence is available to prove and demonstrate the truth. We have submitted all the forged documents, fake projects, fraud that almost crippled our business and all the criminal activities that took place under their watch. The CID is investigating them for all this and BURS is aware and so is Immigration,” notes Liu.
Sunshine Construction applied to cancel the work and resident’s permits under Sunshine of the said employees as advised by their lawyer and required by law for residents. A major scam of applying for permanent residence using the company’s credentials was foiled before it began.
“We await the outcome. We are pleased for the support we got from our business constituents and authorities. We are glad with the progress made. In no time we will know the truth and the sun will shine again,” concluded the MD.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.
The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.
Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa
A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.
COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”
According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.
“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”
Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”
Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.
Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.
“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.
For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.
“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.
Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.
The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ, Patrick Thedi said, “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”
As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.
Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele, who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.
The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as well as bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.
TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050, has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.