SD SLAPS EX-SALGAOCAR BOSS WITH E4BN CHARGES
MBABANE – The State has hit former Salgaocar boss Shanmuga Rethenam with 14 criminal charges ranging from fraud, theft and tax evasion amounting to over E4 billion.
In a 37-page indictment filed by the Director of Public Prosecutions Nkhosinathi Maseko yesterday, he cited among other issues that Rethenam is alleged to have, between the years 2011-2014, unlawfully accepted a sum of E250 million.
This act, according to the DPP, was likely to have an effect of enabling or assisting Rethenam, popularly known as Shan, who had allegedly committed an offence of fraud to launder, remove, disguise or diminish the said money, which was acquired directly as a result of the alleged fraudulent offences. Shan, who was the Director of Salgaocar Africa Limited, a company incorporated in the Republic of Seychelles, has been charged jointly with the company and SG Iron Ore Mining (PTY) Limited, which is under liquidation.
In another count, the accused is alleged to have transferred a sum of USD$23 490 344.23 (E355 million) from Standard Bank and First National Bank, Mbabane branches into the account of Salgaocar Resources Africa held with Standard Charted Bank, Dubai. This allegedly happened between the period of 2012-2015.
These are allegations contained in an indictment whose veracity is yet to be tested before court. Shan is expected to avail himself before the local court on June 30, 2016 after the Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala granted an order that he be served through diplomatic channels.
It was alleged that Shan stole the E355 million, which was due and payable to the Government of Swaziland and or its agencies as 15 per cent withholding tax.
He is further alleged to have failed to withhold and remit payment on non-residence tax on loan interest amounting to USD$189 816.50 (E2.8 million).
This money was due to be paid to the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA). “And whereas Salgaocar Swaziland (PTY) Ltd was liable to withhold and remit non-residence tax on loan interest equal 7.5 per cent and 10 per cent respectively amounting to E2.8 million,” reads the charge sheet.
According to count 13, Shan was charged for contravening the Prevention of Corruption Act No.3 of 2006, in that he unlawfully claimed a sum of USD$755 688.18 (E11.4 million) from SRA as a tax refund.
He is alleged to have utilised the said money for purposes unrelated to the purposes for which the money was intended and the money was diverted for the benefit of the accused persons or third parties.
In another count, he is alleged to have, without the knowledge of other directors, entered into and signed a loan agreement of USD$15 million (approximately E226 million) with an intention of defrauding SG Iron Ore Mining Limited (formerly Salgaocar).
It was further alleged that Shan lied that the Board of the company had resolved that it should enter into and sign a loan agreement of USD$5 million with Salgaocar Resources Africa Limited. He is alleged to have applied the same tricks on July 10, 2012 when he allegedly lied that the Board of the company had met and resolved to enter into and sign a loan agreement of USD$5 million again.
“At the time the accused made the aforesaid misrepresentation, he well knew in truth and in fact that the said Board resolutions were executed illegally and in breach of the Notarial Mining Lease No.31 of 2011 which prescribes the quorum for the holding of meetings of the Board of Directors,” reads the affidavit.
It is said when the accused executed the resolutions he well knew and ought to have reasonably known that the quorum for the holding of a meeting of the Board of Directors shall at all material times include Sihle Dlamini and Mbuso Dlamini.
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