Economy

Forensic Audit Shows Mahtani Forged Signatures on Zambezi Portland

In the latest twist to one of Zambia’s most contentious ongoing corporate raiding cases, a leaked forensic audit report shows that share transfer certificates used by Rajan Mahtani’s Finsbury Investments to take over control of Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC) were illegal forgeries.

This latest information backs up the claims made by Mahtani’s former lawyer Ms. Zaheeda Essa, who testified before court that under his orders the signatures were forged on the ZPC share transfers, which resulted in the de facto theft of the $160 million cement plant from Antonio Ventriglia & Manuela Sebastiani, the original owners of ZPC.

The forgeries relate to a long-running battle for control of the Ndola-based cement plant, where the company founders say that they were cheated and defrauded by their financier, Mr. Mahtani, who took control of the asset. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Antonio Ventriglia & Manuela Sebastiani and restored ownership, but in 2012, after the election of the Patriotic Front government of President Michael Sata, the same Supreme Court Justice reversed on her own ruling to deliver the company back to Mahtani.

The forensic report, which was originally published in 2008 but is now available publicly for the first time, was authored by Mr. Jannie Bester, a handwriting expert and document examiner who was trained by the South African Police and who served as member of the Money Laundering Forum of South Africa and International Association of Financial Crime Investigators, among other qualifications.

The purpose of the report was to examine the authenticity of two documents titled “Form of Transfer of Fully-Paid Shares In A Company Limited Shares” dated December 12th, 2006, which resulted in 85,000,000 ordinary paid shares being passed from Zambezi Portland Cement Limited to Finsbury Investments Limited, the investment arm of Mr. Mahtani’s Finance Bank, effectively handing over control of the company and leading to the ouster of Antonio Ventriglia and Manuela Sebastiani from Zambezi Portland Cement Ltd.

After examining the shareholding transfer documents against the original signatures of the ZPC owners, the expert forensic report concluded the following: “It is then my opinion that the Antonio Ventriglia signatures on the FORM OF TRANSFER OF FULLY-PAID SHARES IN A COMPANY LIMITED BY SHARES documents, documents mentioned at 2.), 4.), and 5.), were not physically written onto these documents by the writer, but were transferred onto these documents by either electronic or mechanical means.”

Bester’s report concluded “the disputed signatures of both Antonio Ventriglia and Manuela Sebastiani are classified as transferred forgeries. Abovementioned opinions were reached by applying sound scientific document examination principles and utilizing numerous methods of document examination which requires proficiency in the science of Forensic Document Examination.”

Mr. Mahtani has faced other allegations of forgery in the past. During the government of President Kenneth Kaunda, he was arrested and jailed for three months for having illegal Zambian government stamps. In 2010, Mahtani and his lawyer John Sangwa were brought up on criminal charges alleging that they had forged letters bearing the signature of the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Zambia. However, in 2012, these charges were dismissed by the Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito. A few months later, Mahtani withdrew a $4 million lawsuit he had against Nchito over unpaid debts.

Forensic Audit of Zambezi Portland Cement Share Transfer Forms

15 Comments

  1. Erasmus

    They say that Mahtani is a man of charity and philanthropy, but now we must be worried that these are proceeds of a crime?

  2. Mumba4me

    When are we going to hear about the deportations that Mahtani carried out against this poor family? He tried to steal the company by having Lungu send them out of the country!

    Rajan Mahtani has failed to take control of Zambezi Portland Cement in spite of receiving support from government through the deportation of his competitors in unclear circumstances.

    The Lusaka High Court yesterday threw out his application for the appointment of receiver Timothy Mushibwe in an act that would have given him control of the company.

    Judge Flavia Chishimba described as speculative and unsubstantiated Mahtani’s claims that the business was in danger of collapsing because the owners had been deported by government.

    The Judge noted that Mahtani’s claim to shares in the company was in dispute and could not therefore be legitimised by an order which implied that he had such interest.

    The company owners, she said, had made sufficient administrative and management arrangements to enable the company continue running.

    Mahtani claimed that he had interest to appoint a receiver for the company because Finsbury investment his company had guaranteed the loan Zambia Portland Cement obtained from PTA and that if Zambezi Portland collapsed, Finsbury would be responsible for payment of the debt.

    • BANKER

      @Mumba4me imagine I work in a BANK OF ZAMBIA and can confirm to all zambians that the poor italian family that was deported by PF/Mahtani had paid USD 40M in loans unto the day they had been deported and for that matter had completely finished paying PTA LOAN!!! these records are available at BANK OF ZAMBIA for all interested people!!!!

  3. KundaMEL

    All da pipo of Zambia know was Mahtani is stealing. And it is because if the PF that this criminal terrorizes us!!!

  4. Andy Sampa

    So answer me one question: why is this man not in jail? Why is he still running a bank and stealing from Zambian people? The answer, of course, lies both in State House and the corrupt courts!

  5. lisa

    @Mumba4me, I can confirm having worked with Timothy Mushibwe that he is a thief, he stole from Petty cash of deloitte and touche, his former employers, he stole from ZAWA. Birds of feathers fly together. Mahtani is a born crook, thief and scoundrel Mwenye. Steven Malama was the chairman of Zambezi Portland Cement. Mahtani concubine from coopers and lybrand who he took with him when he started Mahtani & Co. is the one who prepared fake minutes and pasted the page in a blank page for Mr. Malama to sign as chairman. These are all criminals and let HH or Nevers whosoever takes over next government promise to the voters that this Thief will be investigated and justice delivered before they expect our votes in 2015. Come August 2015 we will have new President to sort out the mess created by then departed Sata.

  6. Mrs Parekh

    Who knows Mahtani better than the one he slept around with? Ka Mahtani, your farting anus is born for money. Anybody with a little common sense can see from the two pictures that signatures are superimposed.

  7. Chilyata

    Deport these mwenye. We need Idi Amin. Airtel, KCM and Finance Bank are run by thieving mwenyes. They are all thieves. Deport them to Bombay.

  8. Mumba4me

    Thank you @BANKER @lisa. I think the real story lies with Michael Gondwe – to go from PTA Bank, where he helped Mahtani make this fraud on Zambezi Portland, to actually running BOZ?? he’s going to get his fingers burnt!

    • BANKER

      PF is a real disappointment this mwenje has destroyed many successful businesses in zambia, “FURNCOZ”, “COPPER HARVEST” AND MANY MORE!!!

  9. Solicitor

    How can PF send criminals to jail when they don’t even know the law. They have no b*lls and see anyone different as superior. They themselves are womanising crooks who steal and gain from the government. The question is how can a criminal catch another criminal. In this case they all keep quiet and continue to rob the country while we watching it plunder.

  10. Musa

    Rajan Mahtani is not only a thief and swindler, but also a womanizer! I’ve personally seen him with prostitutes at Taj Pamodzi – he tries to keep it a secret, but more and more people are talking…

  11. pinga mwenye

    the only way that we will ever see this slippery criminal Mahtani face justice is from a money laundering investigation from abroad. Where does the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office (SFO) stand on mahtani using British banks for his criminal activities?

  12. Benny

    Rajan Mahtani – Gangster Capitalist.

  13. Ola

    Zambia watchdog have been paid few dollar to close comments about Mahtan-shame. Viva Zambia Reports.

Comments are closed.