South African business man in Zimbabwe US$40m fraud

indafrica June 22, 2020
Updated 2020/06/22 at 12:56 AM

South African business tycoon, Martin Simmons is embroiled in a fraud storm after allegedly prejudicing a local businesswoman of nearly US$40m in a botched mining deal, Business Times can reveal.

Simmons and businesswoman Rebecca Siziba have been shareholders in Bamslove Investments (Pvt) Ltd where they own 50% apiece. Simmons has interests in gold and diamond mining.

Bamslove Investments’ operational sites and assets included Sun Yet Sen Mine in Kezi with six stamp mills and several wholly operational leeching plants, Matanda “B” Mine Filabusi with 3 stamp mills and fully operational leaching plants, B Mine in Mberengwa with 4 stamp mills and leaching Plants and the company also had several vehicles, plant and machinery for the full operations of a custom milling company.

Information at hand shows that Simmons came as an investor into the company and ever since the business partnership came into effect, there have been allegations of continued fraud against Siziba.

The South African tycoon allegedly abused company funds while sidelining the original shareholder from company funds and operations.

“Eventually at our client’s behest and by consent ultimately an order for winding down of the company was granted. Instead of winding down the company in terms of the order granted and the Companies Act you and your accountant one Mr Barry Knight created a fictitious loan account which you used to defraud the entire assets of the company to your new company aptly named Liersburg Marketing (Pvt) Ltd,” Siziba’s legal representative Messrs V J Mpofu and Associates wrote to Simmons in a letter of demand dated April 2, 2020.

Siziba’s legal representatives further noted that the newly formed company by Simmons “simply fraudulently transferred all assets of Bamslove Investments” and assumed the whole operations of the going concern without Siziba’s consent, knowledge and in violation of the court order and the Companies Act.

The lawyers said Bamslove was producing 20kg of gold per month from all its operations at the time of the illegal asset transfer in 2012.

Due to the prejudice, Siziba however, instructed her legal representatives to demand a payment of the equivalent of 40% of 1860kgs of gold which at the current world gold price amounts to US$39.4m.

Siziba’s claim monetarily is subject to variation in line with the world gold price.

In addition, Siziba is demanding the return of all the company assets of Bamslove Investments (Pvt) Ltd transferred illegally to Liersburg Marketing (Pvt) Ltd as well as payment or transfer of 40% of all new assets, shares, properties’ both local and offshore of Liersburg Marketing (Pvt) Ltd purchased from proceeds of the business operations owned by or from the assets of Bamslove Investments (Pvt) Ltd from June 2012 to date.

Simmons hung up his phone the moment Business Times contacted him for comment. Subsequent efforts to contact him drew blanks as his number went unanswered.

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