Two Kisumu based tycoons engrossed in a multimillion fraud case have now cited fabrication of charges in the suit.
Speaking in a city court, Sunil Narshi Shah and Kamal Narshi vehemently denied accusations of jointly conspiring to defraud a wholesaler identified as B.N. Kotecha and Sons Ltd through their milling firm United Millers Ltd.
The two directors alongside three other employees from the company; Henry Musyoka Kavita and Sales Manager Mangesh Kumar are charged with illegally obtaining over Sh79.4 million during a botched sugar deal that dates back to April 2015.
Testifying before Magistrate Roselyn Aganyo on Thursday 16th December 2021, they protested the allegations levelled against them, claiming they were artificially manufactured as a desperate afterthought by the complainant.
Through their advocate Martin Gitonga, they justified their decision to file a civil case against B.N. Kotecha and Sons Ltd at the Kisumu High Court based on the purported fact that they failed to deliver a consignment of sugar worth Sh144 million despite full payment.
According to them, this laxity incurred their company United Millers Ltd losses in excess of Sh79 million.
They, therefore, saw the lawsuit as the only viable means to recover the principal sum as well as damages.
Lined up as a witness, a long-serving staff member at United Millers defended earlier charges that the company committed a crime of forgery by presenting a false document to Kotecha and Sons in an attempt to swindle them.
In the case in which directors Sunil Narshi Shah and Kamal Narshi are accused persons, the firm is said to have lied about losing business to their clients by failure to supply sugar.
But in defence, Henry Kavita insisted all the purchase orders they produced were legitimate.
He supported his argument with a lengthy narration of how he personally visited some of the company’s customers based in the Mt Kenya region and was issued with various orders for the supply of sugar.
Kavita additionally revealed that all the customers who had thus far testified in the controversial case all confirmed the authenticity of the LPOs.
Seeking acquittal by the court, he alluded that had the sugar been made available as promised by Kotecha and Sons, all their loyal sugar clients who had placed orders would have accepted delivery and paid for the product.
Sales Manager Mangesh Kumar (a 4th accused in the legal suit) also stood before the jury and threw some weight into his colleague’s remarks.
He confirmed two claims.
First was that United Millers had indeed received orders of sugar from various customers across the country which they did not deliver due to failure on the part of Kotecha and Sons to supply the sugar as agreed.
He also admitted that as a result, losses subsequently ensued.
Arguing on their tycoons’ behalf, lawyer Martin Gitonga insisted that from the customers’ testimonies and the testimonies of the accused persons, it is quite clear that the disagreement is a civil matter and not a criminal incident inspired by a breach of contract for the supply.
Today’s defence hearing came two months after a court ruled the two miller directors had a case to answer after the prosecution lined up over 11 witnesses testifying against the accused persons.
They also face a second charge on October 13, 2015, at Kisumu High Court.
The charge sheet described their crime as that of jointly conspiring to defeat justice by filing Kisumu High Court Suit No 38 of 2015 namely United Millers Limited versus BN Kotecha & Sons LTD, Hemal Kishore Kotecha & Harshil Kishore Kotecha using falsified documents with local purchase order No 099 for Wema General Merchants local purchase order No 124 for Huruma Stores, local purchase order No 106 for Alyam stores.
At the end of the proceedings, the magistrate ruled that the case be mentioned again on the 14th of January 2022.
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