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Battle for exclusive 16-acre Kilifi resort returns to court

Tourists disembark from a dhow at Mtwapa creek in Kilifi County. The county boasts many tourist attractions that investors are jostling to tap. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Tourists disembark from a dhow at Mtwapa creek in Kilifi County. The county boasts many tourist attractions that investors are jostling to tap. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The High Court has stopped Kilifi police from evicting an investor from a multi-million shilling 16-acre beach resort previously managed by a Swiss national.

Thierry Rouse from Nyon, Switzerland, fled the country to avoid sanctions by the government for failing to pay tax to the tune of Sh200 million.

He left behind the high-end Black Marlin Resort, which is now the subject of a takeover attempt.

Mr Justice James Otieno Olola restrained the Officer Commanding Police Station (OCS) Kilifi, Beloilco Holdings Limited and the Attorney General (AG) from evicting the investor from the South Coast beach plot pending determination of his court petition.

The land is registered under Sarax Limited.

The land, including the multi-billion shilling Black Marlin Beach Hotel, is estimated to be valued at more than Sh1 billion.

Justice Olola certified the case as urgent. It is set for hearing on December 7.

The judge was told the OCS Kilifi has evicted Sarax Ltd from its property after a fraudulent cancellation of the title deed and transfer to Beloilco Holdings on November 15 2017.

The investor’s lawyer told the judge that cancellation of the title was done through fraud and collusion yet the High Court had vested the property to the petitioners (Bhavasar Anandkumar and Sarax Ltd) as the legal owners in October 2016.

“Sarax has suffered both economic and emotional loss and damage due to non-ulitilisation of all his property with a world class sport boat, a golf course and camp sites,” the court papers say.

The protracted litigation began in 2015.

“The respondents have violated the rights of Anandkumar and Sarax guaranteed under Articles 40 and 64 of the Constitution which gives rights to every citizen to own property by unlawfully and unconstitutionally evicting him from his legally acquired property,” the judge heard.

Mr Anandkumar through his Sarax Ltd bought the land through a public auction conducted by M/s Kinyua & Company Auctioneers on September 26, 2016 for Sh200 million, being the highest bidder.

The auction had been sanctioned by High Court after Beloilco Holdings Limited failed to pay another company, Genton AG, over Sh1 billion for breach of a business contract and damages.

Beloilco Holdings Limited which is registered as an offshore company in Switzerland had entered into an agreement with Genton AG to manage Black Marlin Resort in Kilifi for a period of six years.

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