Windhoek-Chinese tycoon Yuiqua ‘Jack’ Huang, who on Friday convened a press conference to explain his innocence in the ongoing N$3.5 billion criminal case, is said to have left the country yesterday for Angola.
Although Huang is thought to have left Namibia for business reasons and not to escape the long arm of justice, questions being asked are why his passport was not confiscated pending conclusion of his case.
Yesterday, police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga – who spoke to New Era from Katima Mulilo – and police spokesperson Edwin Kanguatjivi said they were not aware that Huang had left the country.
The investigating officer in the Huang case, Warrant Officer Immanuel Lazarus, was also unable to confirm Huang’s departure from Namibia.
Huang paid N$1 million bail on February 2 after he was initially arrested in connection with the high-profile case involving alleged tax evasion, fraud and money laundering to the tune of N$3.5 billion.
His bail conditions stipulate he must report to the Windhoek Police Station once a week between Monday and Friday.
If not in Windhoek he must report to the nearest police station and hand all his travelling documents to the investigating officer.
As a businessman Huang is to seek consent from the investigating officer if he wishes to travel out of the country and has been ordered not to interfere with the investigation or any witnesses related to the case.
His next court appearance is set for Thursday this week.
Speaking publicly for the first time about his supposed friendship with Huang, President Hage Geingob last week said he had never used his power and influence in any way regarding the case the Chinese millionaire is facing.
The President said he had been contemplating relinquishing his family trust’s stake in an estate venture with Huang’s Sunrise Investment company on land east of Windhoek.
The Chinese tycoon said his so-called friendship with President Geingob is not so close to the extent that the pair would relax and dance around the campfire or in a karaoke bar.
“But in our culture and belief, everyone is a friend, whether high or low people, and we accord them similar respect and courtesy. How I relate to him is not different from how I have been relating to his predecessors, as the presidents of Namibia,” he explained.
Photos, supposedly of Huang boarding a plane at Hosea Kutako International Airport yesterday morning, went viral on social media platforms yesterday.
Questions sent to Huang’s representative, a certain Kisha who invited the media last week to Huang’s press conference, on whether the businessman had left the country, were not answered by the time of going to press last night.
On Friday, Huang maintained his innocence in the N$3.5 billion saga and asked the press, which he denied the opportunity to ask questions, to be fair in its coverage.
“Because of the nature of the case I can unfortunately not take your questions at this time, but hope to do so in future and request you to be objective and fair in your coverage,” he said, to the dismay of an army of journalists who flocked to a local hotel to hear Huang’s version.
Huang delivered what he called a personal statement of innocence during the media briefing.
“I hereby solemnly declare that I have always complied with Namibian laws and regulations and operated lawfully in the past, and undoubtedly at present and will continue to do so in future,” he maintained.
“As I said earlier, I am an investor and a businessman, who has never set foot in politics,” he said through an interpreter.
Huang said he has full confidence in the Namibian justice system, adding that he was confident the courts would eventually absolve him of any wrongdoing.
“As for those newspapers that wrote very bad things about me please do not count on victimising and stopping my business operations. I will continue to invest more and do business in Namibia in the economic interest of the people of Namibia and my company.”
He added: “But as an investor and businessman I have to restore confidence in my name so I have requested legal views from Namibia and South Africa on this and depending on such advice will approach the courts soon to seek redress.”
He continued that the accusations made against him by some mainstream media and a certain government agency are “groundless” and extremely serious, which led to his “unlawful detention”.
He was arrested on February 1 at Hosea Kutako International Airport from where he was set to fly to Angola for business.
“Given that my business interests are not only limited to Namibia but also include other countries, these groundless accusations have caused a lot of damage to my reputation and my business name,” said Huang.
Huang has considerable Namibian investments in residential and commercial property development as well as manufacturing. He said he plans to expand into more economic sectors in partnership with suitable Namibian institutions, groups or individuals. More specifically, he said, he plans to develop a vocational training institute in Oshikango.
“I sincerely hope that foreign investors like myself will never become unwilling participants or victims of local politics so that they can feel at ease in their efforts to advance the economy and create more social wealth and employment opportunities.
Namibian politics must remain exclusively for Namibians, as internal matters,” Huang said.