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Sugar millers in court over sugar deal gone sour

The court has ruled that three directors of a Kisumu-based milling company who are battling a Sh79.4 million sugar fraud charge committed six years ago have a case to answer.

Mr Sunil Narshi Shah, Mr Kamal Narshi Punja Shah, and Magnesh Kumar Verma of United Millers Limited will defend themselves in seven counts of defrauding businessman B N Kotecha & Sons Limited Sh79, 471,000 in a sugar trade deal gone sour.

In a ruling delivered yesterday by the city court, chief magistrate Ms. Roseline Oganyo said the prosecution has established a case against each of the accused persons.

“Having considered all the evidence from the 14 witnesses called by the prosecution and the submissions by the defence, this court finds each of the accused has a case to answer,” ruled Ms Onganyo.

She added that the prosecution led by state prosecutor Everlyne Onunga has established a prema facie to warrant the court to call upon each of the accused to defend himself.

“All the accused will give sworn defences and we shall be calling five witnesses,” a defence lawyer told the magistrate.

Ms Onganyo directed the defence lawyer to supply Ms Onunga with the list of witnesses and their statements to prepare cross-examination.

The accused will begin defending themselves on December 15, 2021.

Senior counsel Prof Tom Ojienda and Meso Ogada were representing the complainant B N Kotecha & Sons Limited.

The three directors and Mr Kavita are charged that on April 2, 2015, at an unknown place within Kenya jointly conspired with intend to defraud B N Kotecha & Sons Sh79.4million.

The four allegedly pretended they had lost business as United Millers Limited to their clients by failure to supply sugar.

Mr Kavita and the co-accused are charged with defeating course of justice by filing Kisumu High Court Civil Suit Number 38 of 2015 allegedly using falsified documents.

In the case, United Millers Limited sued B N Kotecha & Sons Limited, Hemal Kishor Kotecha, and Harshil Kishore Kotecha.

The company’s sales manager Mr Munywoki Kavita was separately charged with forging a local purchase order number 106 for Alysam Stores on April 15 2015 purporting to be a genuine LPO.

All the accused persons are out on a cash bail of Sh400,000.