Hearing on Sh8.7bn TSS fraud delayed for the fourth time

Mr James Mwangi (right), Aweys Ahmed, Zein Ahmed, Zahir Abbas and Victor Were at the Mombasa law courts on March 22, 2017. PHOTO | PHILIP MUYANGA | NMG
Mr James Mwangi (right), Aweys Ahmed, Zein Ahmed, Zahir Abbas and Victor Were at the Mombasa law courts on March 22, 2017. PHOTO | PHILIP MUYANGA | NMG 

A case in which five men have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the late business tycoon Tahir Sheikh Said of Sh8.7 billion failed to proceed for hearing for the fourth time on Tuesday.

However, Mombasa Senior Principal Magistrate Francis Kyambia directed that the case proceeds for hearing on Wednesday morning.

Mr Kyambia directed parties to adequately prepare for the hearing of the case, saying he would not allow any further adjournments unless on exceptional circumstances.

Lawyer Mohamed Jelle had sought to have the case adjourned for 90 days saying that he was recently instructed to appear for one of the accused person and was yet to receive bundles of documents from the previous advocate.

'Bulky documents'

“Even if we were to be served (with the documents) we would not have been able to proceed considering the bulky nature of the documents,” said Mr Jelle.

Mr Jelle further argued that they were yet to receive "full" instructions from their client Mr Aweys Ahmed due to logistical challenges.

The application was vehemently opposed by Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Alexander Muteti, saying the court has not been told why it took one month for Mr Jelle to receive instructions from his client.

Mr Muteti said on numerous occasions the case has not been heard and that Mr Jelle has not made any attempts to ask for documents from their office.

“The adjournment for 90 days is simply laughable, why 90 days to get documents and go through them?” Asked Mr Muteti.

The accused are Mr James Mwangi, Aweys Ahmed, Zein Ahmed, Zahir Abbas and Victor Were.

According to the prosecution, the accused jointly with others not before court conspired to defraud the late Said who was popularly known as TSS, of the money.

False share transfers

The court heard that the accused conspired to defraud the deceased by filing false share transfer and change of directorship of TSS Group of companies with the Registrar of Companies by pretending that he (deceased) had voluntarily released his shares to Isha Said.

The offence is alleged to have been committed on diverse dates between February 8, 2011 and October 29, 2015 at TSS Grain Millers in Mombasa.

The accused were also charged with forging deed of guarantee and indemnity purporting it to be genuine, made by the late tycoon to enable them secure a bank loan of Sh1.5 billion, the property of Kenya Commercial Bank.

The accused also face six other counts of forgery.

Mr Mwangi and Mr Aweys Mohamed have been charged with stealing valuation reports, certificate of lease, PIN certificate and feasibility study booklet belonging to the deceased.

The two were also charged with an alternative count of handling stolen goods.

The accused have denied the charges and were released on a Sh3 million bond with a surety of similar amount.