Saturday, 20 October 2018

SA INVESTOR DUPED OF $650K FIRM


A SOUTH AFRICAN investor, Imran Valley, lost his company and assets worth $650 000 after his Zimbabwean manager allegedly fraudulently filed fake documents to the Registrar of Companies before changing ownership.

Azeem Hassim (34) was summoned to court and appeared before magistrate Noel Mupeiwa charged with fraud.

It is the State’s case that in May 2012, Valley bought a company known as Pickday Investments through Anis Abdul Karim Omar, a chartered accountant, to venture into grocery distribution business in Zimbabwe.

The company was incorporated on June 14, 2012, with Valley and Hassim being the directors. Valley allegedly appointed Hassim a non-shareholder director at the recommendations of his business partner Aboobaker Bhadella.

Valley then entrusted Hassim to command day-to-day operations of the company.

It is alleged during the course of operations, Valley acquired properties which include vehicles and machines among others, which were left in the custody of Hassim for the smooth running of the company.

The State alleges during his tenure of office, Hassim unlawfully sold some of the properties without the knowledge and authority of Valley.

A dispute ensued resulting in Hassim tendering his resignation, which was formally accepted by Valley on July 20 last year.

It is alleged Valley paid Hassim his benefits and dues and then appointed Tutai Mbizvo as a replacement director.

Mbizvo then engaged Abdul Omar, the company accountant, to process a new CR14 and send them to Registrar of Companies for filing.

The State alleges after Hassim resigned, he connived with his brother Firoz, who is at large, and approached Makevale Consult (Private)Ltd represented by Gamuchirayi Chevazhinji.

He allegedly misrepresented to her that Pickday Investments was a shelf company which he purchased long back and had not been operational, hence he needed to start operations with new directors.

As a result, Chevazhinji visited the Registrar of Companies to ascertain from the file if Hassim was telling the truth, but she failed to locate the file.

She caused the signing of the share transfers, change of directors and also prepared the annual returns that indicated that the company was not operational.

Armed with the new CR14, Hassim and Chevazhinji wrote a letter to Stanbic Bank, where the company has a bank account, directing them to change the signatories to the bank account, which the financial institution turned down, citing that records showed Valley was the shareholder of the company.

Hassim allegedly went further and used the concocted documents at Masvingo Magistrates’ Court in a civil litigation claiming ownership of the company and, as a result, an order was granted in his favour.

The accused allegedly took all the machinery, stock and trucks belonging to Valley to an unknown destination.

The court heard Valley suffered actual prejudice of $650 000 and nothing was recovered.

Constance Ngombengombe prosecuted for the State. Newsday

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