Pan Chang, a Chinese national accused of posing as owner of a house in Congo Town, where he managed to collect over US$30,000 from its tenants, who are UNMIL officers, has been arrested and detained at the Monrovia Central Prison to wait trial.
Before defendant Pan’s detention, he was arraigned before Magistrate Kennedy Peabody of the Monrovia City Court, at the Temple of Justice on the commission of theft of property, a bailable offense under the law.
And after hours of legal proceedings when Pang could not hire a lawyer to secure his bond, Magistrate Peabody ordered him to be handcuffed and held in custody.
Defendant Pang was surrendered to the jurisdiction of the court based on a complaint filed by Musa K. Sackor, Chief Executive Officer of Time Group of Companies, a real estate developer.
Sackor alleged that the property, owned by a Liberian woman and her Indian husband, entered into a five year lease agreement from 2011 to 2015, with some Chinese nationals.
Sackor claimed that due to the Ebola outbreak in the country, the Chinese nationals fled the country without the expiration of the lease agreement.
Defendant Pang took advantage of the departure of his countrymen from the country and decided to live there.
Without any power of attorney, Time CEO said, defendant Pang sub-leased the property to some UNMIL officers and collected over US$30,000 as rent and disappeared.
“It took us three months before, through the help of officers of the court, we managed to discover his hiding place and this is how he was arrested,” Sackor told the court.
According to him, the defendant had been using other Liberians to collect the rent on his behalf.
He added that the defendant’s action is unlawful, illegal and in violation of Section 15.51 of the new penal law of Liberia.