Home » Industry » Lebanese National Duped in Mining Deal

A Lebanese national was yesterday brought to court by his business partner after misappropriating about US$200 000 in a mining deal. Taleb Mohamad (51), who is director of Acquirium Trading (Pvt) Ltd, appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe facing theft of trust property charges.

He was remanded in custody to August 14 .

He is represented by his lawyer Mr Farai Mushoriwa and Aocate Tawanda Zhuwarara.

The complainant in the matter is Tamira Overseas SA, which holds a 48 percent stake in Acquirium Trading (Pvt) Ltd.

Tamira Overseas is represented by Heena Jayant Joshi, a shareholder in True Brethren (Pvt) Ltd, which also holds a 3 percent stake in Acquir- ium.

The court heard that Tamira Overseas SA and True Brethren have a total of 51 percent shareholding making them the major shareholders in Acquirium.

Prosecutor Ms Sharon Mashavira alleged that sometime in April 2012 Joshi met Mohamad and a Russian, Nocolay Verenko, who is also a partner in Tamira Overseas SA.

It is alleged that the trio had business discussions on mining and Joshi later made contact with Mohamad with the intention of investing in the mining business.

In July the same year Joshi met Mohamad to verify the existence of mining claims in Gweru.

It is alleged that Joshi engaged a metallurgist, Magofa Gwizo, to access the mining claims and offices.

Satisfied with the developments, Joshi allegedly flew into the country on September 2, 2012 and entered into a joint venture agreement at a meeting held at Jacana Lodge in Harare.

Joshi offered to fund mining operation with a loan of US$400 000 under an agreement and the money was released over three months from October to December 2012.

In January 2013, Joshi offered to buy out Mohamad and his co-director, Sandra van Rooyen, but the parties instead agreed on a new shareholding structure.

Tamira Overseas was to get 48 percent, True Brethren three, Rooyen 37 and Mohamad 12 percent of the shareholding.

Following the new structure Joshi paid off all liabilities including a Kingdom loan of US$619 390.

The court heard that between April 2013 and June this year Joshi injected US$2,75 million into Acquirium Trading (Pvt) Ltd African Banking Corporation’s bank account number 10008873902025 from Tumira Overseas.

It is alleged that Mohamad remained the sole signatory of the bank account making Joshi suspicious in the manner business was being run.

An internal audit revealed that Mohamad misappropriated US$265 958 and nothing was recovered.

Source : The Herald