A lawyer who formerly worked for Finance Bank of Zambia Ltd Rajan Mahtani has told the Zambian Police that the banker is guilty of committing forgery to steal control of a majority shareholding in Zambezi Portland Cement Ltd. (ZPC), according to documents obtained by Zambia Reports.
Mahtani, who was arrested on June 2 and criminally charged with two counts of forgery and issuing false documents, has repeatedly denied the charges brought against him, and has sought judicial review.
According to a witness statement recorded by the Zambian Police on June 16, 2015, Mahtani’s former lawyer Zaheeda Essa claimed that Mr. Mahtani had instructed his personal assistant Chisha Mutale to “cut” the signatures of Antonio Ventriglia and Manuela Sebastiani, the actual owners of ZPC, from a separate shareholding agreement onto a share transfer form that would be submitted to the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA).
The reason for the illegal copying of signatures is because Mahtani never paid to acquire the majority shareholding in ZPC, and as such, he allegedly does not possess the original share transfer certificates with original signatures, the ZPC owners have claimed in past press releases.
“With reference to the share transfer forms, specifically as mentioned earlier, there was a panic within Dr. Mahtani for not having his 58% shares reflecting in the PACRA system,” Essa declared in her witness statement to police.
“Irrespective of the system being rectified, Dr. Mahtani came up together with CHISHA MUTALE, his personal assistant to his Secretary PARIVATHU NACHIMUTHU, dated these Share Transfer Forms. Mrs. Nachimuthu dated ‘RLM 7′ and ‘RLM 9′. Chicha Mutale dated ‘RLM 8′ and ‘RLM 10.’ Mrs Nachimuthu endorsed the words ‘Finsbury Investment Limited’ and Joan Craven’s signature on ‘RLM 7′ and ‘RLM 8.’ Chisha Mutale cut the signatures of Antonio Ventriglia and Manuela Sebastiani from the Share Holding Agreement mentioned above, and glued it on the Form, and then photocopied the Form,” Essa declared.
“My office was one office away from Dr. Mahtani’s office, and next door to Mrs Nachimuthu’s office, with an interlock door which I used regularly to walk in and out of the offices, therefore, I saw what was photocopied, and I saw Mrs Nachimuthu signing the documents in question,” Essa said.
Once the alleged forgery had been completed, Essa told the Zambian Police that she was present in Mahtani’s office, where he congratulated Mrs Nachimuthu on a “job well done” in her presence and received the forged share transfer forms.
Essa’s statement to police, which can be read in full below, came about after a falling out with Mathani, and his Lawyers Simeza and Sangwa Associates.
After closing her law firm last year in which she was in partnership with her Lebanese boyfriend dubious character named Fawaz, she briefly worked with Mathani’s lawyer Simeza and Sangwa Associates until around March/April this year. She did not stay long, they differed over the questionable tactics of Mathani and his lawyers (Sangwa has been jointed arrested and charged with Mahtani in the past). She left Simeza Sangwa Associates and she now works for LAMASAT, a Lebanese company.
Rumours in the legal community indicate that Mahtani is desperately trying to recruit Essa to work with him again as retained counsel.
Rajan Mahtani departed Zambia last week after applying for release of his passport to receive medical treatment abroad.