Chinese businessman accused of bribery granted bail

A Chinese businessman, charged in connection to a $10million container of sea cucumbers that was intended for export, has been granted bail. 

Qingping Yang*, of Vailoa, is also facing one count of bribing a law enforcement officer. 

He appeared before District Court Judge Talasa Atoa Saaga on Monday.

Mr. Yang was represented by lawyer, Mauga Precious Chang, with the prosecutor being Attorney General’s Office lawyer, Iliganoa Atoa. 

The Chinese national was granted bail on conditions that he surrenders travel documents and sign in at the Police station twice a week. 

The bail application from Mauga was not opposed by the prosecution. 

Judge Saaga adjourned the matter for mention on 11 June 2020 without plea from the accused. 

Mr. Yang is accused of allegedly bribing a Customs officer after a sea cucumber container worth $10 million that was intercepted at the Matautu wharf and seized by the Ministry of Customs and Revenue. 

The accused has been in custody for nearly two weeks. 

The investigation that took place in April was led by Customs with the assistance of Quarantine and Police. 

*This story has been corrected to reflect the defendant's name. The original story said the defendant is identified by the names "Suikei Alofagia or Suikei Ma Yang." These were the names on the Court list on Monday. Mr. Yang's lawyer has since confirmed that his full name and the name on the file is Qingping Yang, not Suikei Alofagia. 

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