Economy

Tanzanian businessman faces arrest after court clears Interpol warrant

kumar

Jayesh Kumar Prabhudas Kotecha in court on June 3, 2021. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

A Tanzanian businessman has failed to stop warrants issued to Interpol for his arrest before a Nairobi court over Sh706 million bank fraud charges.

Guarar Jayesh Kumar Kotecha wanted the High Court to stop the execution of the warrant issued last September arguing that it was issued without complying with the provisions of extradition laws.

Mr Kotecha, a director at a transport firm Midland Hauliers, is said to be currently in London studying.

The warrant for his arrest was issued by Milimani senior principal magistrate David Ndungi last year after he failed to appear in court on three occasions.

High Court judge Grace Nzioka said it was not far-fetched to conclude that Mr Kotecha was buying time not to appear in court.

“In conclusion, I find that the warrant of arrest issued by the court was issued properly in accordance with the law and dismiss the application accordingly,” said the judge.

Mr Kotecha and his British co-director, Jayesh Kumar Prabhudas Kotecha, are charged alongside their companies, Midland Hauliers Limited and Super Hakika Limited, with conspiring to defraud Prime Bank Sh706.9 million by transferring mortgaged goods.

The mortgaged goods, which are heavy commercial trucks, were transferred from Midland Hauliers Limited to Super Hakika Limited.

The charge sheet states that on diverse dates between February 25 and April 29, 2019, at the offices of Midland Hauliers Limited (which is under receivership) along Kyang'ombe Road within Nairobi County, being directors and companies respectively with intent to defraud Prime Bank Limited of Sh706,989,273, they conspired, jointly with others not in court, to transfer mortgaged goods.

Mr Kumar, who has been attending court, denied seven counts and was on bond.

Mr Kotecha is facing charges of conspiracy to defraud but claims he was not summoned to record a statement by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

He further claimed that the proceedings before the court are motivated by malice because the case is a purely civil dispute, which is pending before the commercial court.

He defended himself saying he has no interest in the case save for the fact that he is the son of Kumar, who is a party in the case. He said he was in the UK for studying and the warrant for his arrest might interfere with his studies.

The police opposed the case arguing that the warrant was issued properly and legally. The court heard that he was served with summons through his advocates but he failed to appear in court as directed.

The judge said the government had commenced the process of execution of the warrant and the court cannot stop the process.

In the charges, the prosecution alleges that the transfer exposed the loan advanced to Midland by the lender.

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