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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Tycoon Ajay Shah sucked into Integrity House sale saga


Tycoon Ajay Shah’s name has now featured in the controversial sale of Integrity Centre. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has been ordered to vacate its Integrity Centre headquarters by June 30 when the current lease expires.
Also sucked in the ownership saga is one time powerful cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott.
Shah is one of the executive directors of Trust Bank Ltd implicated in the rip-off of depositors’ money and it has now been discovered that he holds 50pc shares in a company trading as Revack Ltd which has been receiving rent from EACC since 2010.
Investigations reveal that part of the ongoing wars at the EACC pits some commissioner on one hand and law firms on the other.
 It all started on May 23 2013 when an application for consent to transfer the property was filed and was granted within a day, a source well versed with the happenings told us.
  After valuation by the chief valuer at the department of lands, its value was rated at Sh450m.
Before the deal could be sealed, another law firm wrote a letter requesting to withdraw their earlier released documents including the duly executed surrender of lease of title because their client required the same documents for another transaction. It has emerged the client was working together with Ajay.
It was after this that another transfer for Integrity Centre from Revack Ltd on 50-50 basis was done. The names of Mwonga Gideon Munyao (ID no 9412670) and Mohammed Thabet (ID no 13365791) feature in the deal.
In the deal, another firmTegus Ltd is brought in. It has Muthui Rachel (ID no 1245558) and Doshi Anish of ID no 099114126. To enter the business, the transfer documents were executed on June 4 2014 by Land Registrar no 212 CK Ngetich.
Investigations reveal that the EACC has been paying rent to a company associated with Ajay a director of liquidated Trade Finance Ltd who is also a director of Revack Ltd who are the alleged landlords of Integrity Centre.
We have also discovered that EACC has been paying Sh3,322,542 monthly for rent, service charge, closed parking bays and open parking bays. Doshi Shah is Ajay’s nominee in the other firm Tegus Ltd.
The saga of Trade Bank/Integrity Centre revolves around obtaining a Sh152.5m loan by Revack Ltd from Trade Finance Ltd which is a subsidiary of Trust Bank Ltd sometime in November 1994 during the Moi era when Ajay was close to the powers be. Ajay is now close to deputy president William Ruto.
Investigations reveal that at the time of taking the loan, there was no indication that there was a charge on the security property. On July 11 1995, Trust Finance Ltd directors Ajay and  another Praful Shah wrote a letter to SM Suvmvir Trustees Ltd to hold 2,500 shares representing 50pc of the issued and paid up capital of Revack Ltd in trust and as nominee of Trust Finance Ltd.
Revack was incorporated on May 25 1994 by Esmail  and Esmail Advocates  whose directors were listed as Akber Abdullah Kassam  and his mother Shrin Esmail holding trust for undisclosed client.
Investigations further reveal that the company was formed to to purchase Trade Bank Centre from Deposit Protection fund  Board, the liquidator of Trade Bank. However, during the negotiations, for purchase of Trade Bank Centre, Revack Ltd’s owners partnered with Trust Bank Ltd’s  executive director Ajay  to purchase the building as equal partners.
Subsequently, Sh217.5m drawn on Trade Finance Ltd, a subsidiary of Trust Bank Ltd was paid to the Deposit Protection Fund. This included Sh152.5m loan from Trust Bank Ltd and Sh65m as Ajay Shah’s equity contribution for 50pc shareholding in Raveck Ltd.
On January 10 1995, Revack Ltd allegedly made a Sh152,225 payment to Trust Finance Ltd. It is important to note that according to Revack Ltd, accounts at Trust Finance Ltd including interest stood at Sh163,401,824. This means that after the payment, the outstanding balance from the Sh152.5m loan including interest was Sh163,401,824.
On July 11 1995, Eshmail and Akber purportedly resigned as Revack Ltd directors and Mukhesh Gohil and Jassa Singh Virdee were appointed as directors. At that time Revack’s outstanding debt to Trust Finance stood at Sh29,914,931.
Other reports indicate that Revack Limited is also associated with former cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott. Alnoor Kassam, a businessman associated with the collapsed Trade Bank who fled Kenya to Canada when the bank was liquidated in the early 1990s, has also previously laid claim to the building.
But sources within the Central Bank of Kenya intimated that DPF sold Integrity Centre building after 21 years of holding it in trust to pay depositors.