Johannesburg - Hundreds of millions of rand which have allegedly been siphoned to Mauritius from a local coal mining company could be returned to the country.
This follows the revelation of an alleged embezzlement scheme in the Pretoria High Court which last week issued a draft order that Abubekir Salim and Mehmet Selim Kaymak should repatriate the money, held in a Mauritius Commercial Bank account, into Londani Coal’s FNB account.
This money - believed to be over R250 million, according to a highly placed source - is the proceeds from coal sales mined by Londani, the court order stated.
Londani is a subsidiary of the Mpumalanga-based Sumo Coal, which has been operational since 1995, according to a Bloomberg company profile.
Further adding to Salim and Kaymak’s woes is the draft order that their respective FNB accounts - believed to be a combined R100m - be frozen.
FNB was the eleventh respondent in the matter brought earlier this month by Huseyin Caliskan and Muhammed Caliskan on behalf of Sumo Coal.
The Caliskan brothers - who are nephews of Semsettin Caliskan, the Turkey-based Sumo chairperson - argued that they were unlawfully and fraudulently removed as directors from another company, Root Mining, which has ties to Sumo.
In the court application, Huseyin Caliskan accused Salim and Kaymak of elaborate acts of fraudulent misrepresentations, which resulted in alleged embezzlement of Londani Coal money and the transferring of prospecting rights held by Sumo.
“At issue here is the sale and transfer of the 100% shareholding that Sumo Coal had in Root Mining, not Londani Coal. Root Mining owned 74% of Londani Coal.
“The first and second respondents (Salim and Kaymak) were appointed to the board of directors in Londani on the strength of the ownership of Root Mining,” Huseyin said in his affidavit.
“It is the unlawful and fraudulent sale and transfer of Root Mining to Shura that the applicant (Sumo Coal) seeks to reverse. In the meantime, the applicant seeks an order against the first and second respondents to bar them from any business activity, control and management of Londani Coal.”
The high court agreed that the Caliskan brothers be “reinstated to their directorship of Root Mining Ltd, from which they were unlawfully and fraudulently removed”.
Salim and Kaymak, the order added, had been removed from their directorships of Londani Coal.
However, Salim, who still refers to himself as a director at Londani, was bemused when contacted by The Star as to what the court application and order entailed.
“I am totally surprised and deeply concerned about the baseless allegations levelled against me. I do not know of any such legal application issues against me,” Salim asserted.
“I consider these absurd allegations to be part of a disturbing campaign to defame my professional and personal reputation, and I will consider my legal options in response to the accusers.
“I trust that your newspaper will print the facts, despite the wholly inaccurate information you have received,” a fuming Salim said.
Equally perplexed by the application and order was Sumo’s chairperson, Semsettin Caliskan, who said he didn’t know why his nephews had launched this application without his knowledge.
“As the chairperson of Sumo Coal, I do not know of any legal application to which you refer. We have not had a board meeting to authorise any such legal application either Mr Huseyin has no jurisdiction to go to court on behalf of Sumo,” Semsettin said.
He added that he was based in Turkey and had not been in South Africa for over a year.
Phone calls and SMSes that were sent to Kaymak went unanswered.