Lebanese in court over botched deal


A LEBANESE national, who allegedly misappropriated about $200 000 in a mining deal had his trial postponed to next January by the Gweru courts after it emerged the presiding regional magistrate in the matter was on leave.

Stephen Chadenga

Taleb Mohamad (51), who is director of Acquirium Trading (Pvt) Ltd, appeared before Gweru magistrate Vimbai Makora facing theft of trust property charges.

Mohamad was on Tuesday remanded out of custody to January 12 2015, as the presiding regional magistrate, Morgan Nemadire, was said to be on leave. His bail conditions were relaxed.

Represented by lawyer Alec Muchadehama, it was agreed Mohammad would report to the police once a month instead of fortnightly.

The complainant in the matter is Tamira Overseas SA, which holds a 48% 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% stake in Acquirium.

The court heard that sometime in April 2012, Joshi met Mohamad and a Russian, Nocolay Verenko, who is also a partner in Tamira Overseas SA.

Allegations are 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.

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

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

Further allegations are 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 $265 958 and nothing was recovered.