Tanzanian businessman faces Interpol arrest

Monday August 08 2022
Jayesh Kumar

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

By The East African

A Tanzanian businessman has failed to stop warrants issued to Interpol for his arrest before a Nairobi court over Ksh706 million ($5.92 million) bank fraud charges.

Guarav 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, for conspiring to defraud Prime Bank Ksh706.9 million ($5.93 million) by transferring mortgaged goods.

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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 Ksh706,989,273, 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 to study, 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 warrant execution process, and the court could not stop the process.

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