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Middleburgh on Mugabe

Consolidated from internet sources last week with commentary:

Grace Mugabe's visit in January to Hong Kong, funded by the Zimbabwean Central Bank, involved more than just

Apparently Grace through her mate "Jack" aka Hsieh Ping-Sung was looking to make a multi-million-pound diamond investment involving setting up a centre for cutting and polishing diamonds at Qingdao, on China’s east coast, in conjunction with Zimbabwe’s central bank.

It appears that the Mugabe's have designs on Zimbabwe's diamonds for purposes other than Grace simply using them as bling knuckledusters to work over journalists on the street when she takes a fancy.

A Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) report has accused the Zimbabwe government of killing dozens of artisanal alluvial miners in order to clear them from the country’s diamond fields and has also expressed a concern that the Zimbabwe authorities are holding a stockpile of 1.3 million carats of diamonds and that some of it may have been bartered for weapons.

President Mugabe has been accused in the past of being involved in the looting of his country’s diamond fields. ABC Television in Australia reported last July that Mugabe is smuggling diamonds out of Zimbabwe and into China, flying through Australian airspace.

Being a simple person like what I am, this all smack to me as a scheme for money laundering and/or stealing resources belonging to the Zimbabwean people but what would I know!! I just wonder how much of the proceeds will go towards Bona's university fees, who according to reports may now have transferred (?) from HKU to City university. (she apparently has not taken up an invitation by Zimbabwean students to join them and benefit from an education back home with her peers at a Zimbabwean university - very ungracious of her !!)

In addition to the diamond venture Bobby & Grace appear to have purchased for themselves a small gaff at No 3 JC Castle 18 Shan Tong Road Tai Po for £4 million ($8.7 million). (Map at the end of this post should you wish to drop in on Gracy and Bob for a cup of tea , chat and a few diamonds.) JC (Jacky Chan) Castle is in an isolated estate on a hill surrounded by verdant countryside (I have been told that there are a lot of mosquitoes in Tai Po so bring your mozzie spray if visiting!!). It's villas and flats cater mostly for affluent Chinese fleeing Hong Kong’s densely populated central districts. By Hong Kong’s compact standards, the properties are generously proportioned and command high prices although with the arrival of Bobby and Grace these may be expected to fall.

The complex where residents enjoy quiet gardens, a clubhouse and a swimming pool, was developed and managed by one of Hong Kong’s richest and most colourful tycoons, Albert Yeung, who has interests in the casino and entertainment industries and has long been linked by the Hong Kong press to triad underworld gangs. While he has been investigated by the antitriad division of the Hong Kong police and has appeared in court, he has never been convicted and denies any wrongdoing (and is even less likely to have any dealing with scumbags such as the Mugabe's. (it would involve significant loss of face!!). It remains to be seen whether the resident's committee will approach him to use his 'contacts' to encourage the Mugabe's to crawl under a stone somewhere else (assuming that the Hong Kong authorities don't preempt them)

The property was purchased from a UK Vendor by Hsieh Ping-Sung who is the holder of a South African passport which shows that he was born in Durban in 1959 (Hopefully the US State department is or has put him on their Blacklist of people aiding and abetting the mugabes!). On June 28, Cross Global, a company Hsieh had bought off the shelf acquired the property.Sources in Zimbabwe say the Mugabes own the controlling interest in the property. Cross Global's registered office is a flat in Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. For a fascinating insight into the Mugabes web of asian facilitators and klingons this article by Jon Swain and Michael Sheridan merits reading (power to you, guys - Name and Shame the Buggers!!)

When details of the purchase came to light there was only "limited" outrage in Hong Kong and a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman when asked to comment told the South China Morning Post. “Hong Kong is a free port, and even Falun Gong practitioners can buy a property there, am I right?” Since he could have commented without refering to Falun Gong the fact he did and linked Mugabe to them is significant. In the pantheon of Chinese demons the Falun Gong (righty or wrongly) hold pole position as the most diabolical evil creatures known to society supassing even the Dali Lama in evilness. Clearly by putting Mugabe in such company he was making the point that under the "One Country, Two Systems Policy" it is the responsibility of the Hong Kong authorities to keep such abominable creatures out . Quite right !!! and shame on the HK authorities if they don't !!

It is worth noting that the Mugabe's investment's in Hong Kong may be less than secure. On one hand they will come under closer scrutiny by the financial authorities in Hong Kong, where new money-laundering laws have created a special category of “politically exposed persons” for surveillance. Experts say regulators appear obliged to monitor their transactions.

The Hong Kong legislation defines such persons as government, judicial, military and political party officials, plus their families and associates, from countries “where corruption is widespread” and says the risk factors include “unexplained wealth”, the use of accounts at a government bank and any request for secrecy. By any yardstick, the Mugabes fit that category.

I have no doubt that local authorities are also reviewing practical security implications of having the Mugabe's in our midst in particular the costs and risks associated with checking the single road in and out of the estate for culvert bombs (known these days as improvised explosive devices) and the scrubland on the hill above and to the East for possible rocket or mortar launch sites. Regrettably a toe rag like Mugabe may well attract a hired mercenary or fanatic seeking retribution for all the people who have died under his watch. Even though this a remote possibility a failed attempt would severely damage Hong Kongs reputation for safety etc. On balance it may be deemed preferable if the Mugabes decided to ... "go away".

And in keeping with the precedent allegedly established by Grace, journalists Tim O'Rourke and Colin Galloway who went to the property in JC Castle to deliver a letter on behalf of The Sunday Times were similarly attacked when O'Rorke tried to take photographs of the house, by two African men and a woman who are 'minding" the property. O'Rourke called the police and made a formal complaint of assault. The pair were examined for injuries at a city hospital under police supervision. The alleged attackers were questioned but have not yet been arrested, he added. His camera was returned. A police spokesperson said investigations into the Tai Po case were continuing. "The case is classified as alleged common assault. No arrest has so far been made and legal advice will be sought in due course."

Meanwhile A police report into the previously alleged assault on Richard Jones by Grace Mugabe was sent last week to the Department of Justice to decide whether she should be prosecuted. Police are understood to believe they have sufficient evidence to prosecute after two vital witnesses were traced following the incident, according to a source familiar with the case. However, police officers involved in assessing the case have also raised the question of whether Ms Mugabe might claim diplomatic immunity if any proceedings are brought. A spokesperson for Hong Kong police declined to comment on details of the investigation into the alleged assault or to say if any attempt had been made to contact Mrs Mugabe or whether she would face extradition proceedings over the incident.

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