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Johannesburg - Police have launched a manhunt for two Turkish nationals accused of fraudulently removing two of their countrymen as directors of their company.

Abubekir Salim and Mehmet Selim Kaymak allegedly siphoned millions of rand to Mauritius from a local coal mining company owned by the Caliskan brothers, Huseyin Caliskan and Muhammed Caliskan.

They allegedly pulled off their act after illegally gaining control of Root Mining. A case of fraud, forgery and theft was opened against them earlier last year.

The Star has gathered that Sandton police set about arresting them on Monday, but they did not find them at their offices.

Read: Hundreds of millions could be returned to SA

Police expected Salim and Kaymak to hand themselves over on Wednesday, something that did not happen.

Captain Granville Meyer, spokesperson for Sandton police, said on Thursday Salim and Kaymak were yet to be arrested.

“I can confirm that a fraud case was opened against the suspects and that a warrant of arrest was issued on Monday,” he said.

The Star reached Salim over the phone on Thursday. He claims to not being a fugitive and that the matter had been put on hold.

This follows the revelation of an alleged embezzlement scheme in the high court in Pretoria, which last week issued a draft order that Salim and Kaymak should repatriate the money, held in a Mauritius bank account, into Londani Coal’s FNB account.

This money - believed to be more than R250million - 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 recently by Huseyin and Muhammed Caliskan on behalf of Sumo Coal.

The Caliskan brothers - who are nephews of Semsettin Caliskan, the Turkey-based Sumo chairpman - argued that they were unlawfully and fraudulently removed as directors from another company, Root Mining, which has ties to Sumo.

Phone calls and SMSes sent to Kaymak since Sunday have gone unanswered.

The Star