Mugabe’s Chinese friend detained in Beijing

Sam Pa, the enigmatic figure who allegedly helped finance the Central Intelligence Organisation before Zimbabwe’s elections, has been detained in Beijing according to a report in The Financial Times.

Sam Pa

Sam Pa

The Chinese financial magazine Caixin reported that his detention was connected with an investigation into the former Chairman of the Chinese state owned oil company, Sinopec, by the Chinese ruling party’s anti-graft body.

In 2012 Global Witness investigations revealed evidence that Zimbabwe’s feared and highly partisan spying agency, the CIO, appeared to have received off-budget financing from Sam Pa in return for a share of the country’s newfound diamond wealth. Following these revelations Sam Pa was last year placed on the US sanctions list for allegedly “undermining democratic processes and institutions in Zimbabwe,” and “facilitating public corruption by Zimbabwean senior officials through illicit diamond deals.” The US treasury said the off-budget financing contributed to CIO programs dedicated to pre-election intimidation in Zimbabwe.

“Sam Pa represents the unacceptable face of capitalism,” said Nick Donovan, Campaigns Director at Global Witness, “He’s brokered several amoral deals with cash strapped governments unafraid of using violence to oppress their own people.”

Sam Pa, who is reported to have been detained at a hotel in the Chinese capital last week, is the driving force behind a Hong Kong based network of businesses known informally as the “Queensway syndicate or group”. The opaque group of companies has been at the heart of numerous infrastructure projects across Africa, often in exchange for natural resources ranging from oil to diamonds.

Post published in: Africa News
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