DPP drops Ksh71.5M fraud case against Parminder Singh Manku

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 14 May, 2024 13:46 | 3 mins read
Trader Parminder Singh Manku at Milimani Law Courts. PHOTO/Nancy Gitonga
Trader Parminder Singh Manku at Milimani Law Courts. PHOTO/Nancy Gitonga

Director of Public Prosecution Renson Ingonga has dropped a Ksh71.5 million fraud case against billionaire businessman Parminder Singh Manku and his associate in a construction firm for lack of evidence.

While dropping the criminal charges, the DPP informed Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Robinson Ondieki that there was no sufficient evidence to sustain the criminal charges against Manku as he was wrongfully prosecuted.

The new development comes after the Ingonga reviewed the evidence afresh and found that the tycoon businessman who had been involved in the construction of a major road in the country should not have been prosecuted for criminal offences as the charges against Manku were civil in nature.

"Your honour we urge that you allow our application to withdraw the case against the accused person herein under Section 87(a) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) since we do not intend to proceed with the matter. Following a review of the file, we found the charges against Manku were civil in nature," the state prosecutor urged.

As a consequence, the magistrate granted the DPP's plea to terminate the charges against the businessman, who faced three charges of stealing by a company's director of Ksh71.5 million from Westalnds-based Earth Movers Limited in Nairobi County on December 21, 2021.

"The matter is withdrawn under Section 87(a) of the CPC and the Ksh 1 million cash bail be released to the depositor and the passport in case it has been deposited back to the court," Magistrate Ondieki ordered.

Manku was also accused of stealing, forgery, and uttering a false document to a bank claiming that he was the sole director of the company.

Accusations

He was accused of forging minutes of a board meeting at Lalji Meghi and Company Limited Board on September 10, 2020, purporting to be the sole signatory of the company's account at Standard Chartered Bank's Westlands branch. He then presented the forged company resolutions to Standard Chartered Bank's Westlands branch in Nairobi on October 7, 2020.

According to documents filed in court, charges were based on a complaint by Pravin Patel Mavji, the accused person's co-director, shareholder, and business partner at Elite Earth Movers Limited, whose business relationship had soured irredeemably at the time of making the complaint.

The complainants told the court that for over 40 years, professionally, the accused was a businessman operating in the field of construction contracting, where he bid for various construction tenders floated in the country, and if won, he undertook the construction projects with companies that he owned.

On or around 2018, Manku joined the company Elite Earth Movers Limited, familiarizing himself with its operations and balance sheets, with the intention of subscribing for shares and using the company to further bid for construction tenders, according to the court papers.

The court heard that in the earlier parts of 2018, the businessman showed a strong balance sheet for Elite Earth Movers Limited and also that Elite Earth Movers Limited had assets and good projects, including Mulot and Kijauri Road projects, that were underway and, if completed, could raise good money for Elite Earth Movers Limited.

"However, during this time, the accounts department of Elite Earth Movers Limited did not disclose any issues with the financial state of the company.

"On April 10, 2018, the accused signed an agreement to purchase shares in Elite Earth Movers Limited, joining its two shareholder directors, Pravin Patel Mavji and Pravin Patel Daxsha, as a third director shareholder," the court documents show.

On his side, Manku told the court that no money was ever removed or misappropriated from the company, Elite Earth Movers. He further claimed that the charges against him were based on lies and were fabricated. 

Manku was appointed a sole signatory to a current account by Lalji Meghji Patel directors via a board resolution.

“The criminal case came about because Lalji Meghji gave Elite a subcontract and they were not performing, and Lalji paid Elite about 200 million and the work done was about 130 million; furthermore, Lalji Meghji paid Elite Ksh 60 million for goods allegedly acquired off-site by Pravin. Upon being asked to produce the goods, he couldn’t,” businessman Manku stated.

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