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Missing bosses of ASA Resource Group in 3.2m mining scandal

Staff Writer | December 25, 2017
Arrest warrants have been issued by the Zimbabwean authorities for two former bosses of a London-listed mining company over an alleged fraud that has triggered a global manhunt.
ASA Resource Group
Africa   Arrest warrants have been issued
Yat Hoi Ning and Yim Kwan, the former chief executive and former finance director respectively of ASA Resource Group, have been missing for several months.

One of ASAs own directors slammed the UK authorities for failing to investigate a possible large-scale removal of value.

The company, which is listed on the AIM market in London, has a Zimbabwean gold mine as its main asset. It also has copper mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It revealed in April that $4.3 million (3.2 million) had gone missing and fired Ning and Kwan.

The firm, which went into administration in July, has been unable to contact Ning since.

In a further twist, administrators at Duff & Phelps fear Ning could be linked to a 36 million takeover bid for ASA by a firm controlled by a Chinese copper billionaire. Some investors fear the takeover could lead to them being short-changed.

The arrest warrants centre on $2.76 million which was transferred out of the bank account of one of ASAs subsidiaries.

The affair is just the latest debacle to hit AIM, the UKs junior stock market. It has suffered a string of scandals, including several involving Chinese companies.

Although the issues are not confined to Chinese firms, the London Stock Exchange issued a warning two years ago. It told the stockbroking firms that oversee companies on AIM to make sure their Chinese clients corporate governance standards were up to scratch.

ASAs administrator, Duff & Phelps, says there are possible links between Ning and a firm called Rich Pro Investments, owned by billionaire Feng Hailiang. They point to a number of transactions between the pair, including a large loan to Ning.

In addition, Hailang owns a copper project in the DRC, situated next to ASAs operation.