Supreme Court issues interlocutory order for disposal of assets in Fahreen Rajan case |28 September 2022
The Supreme Court of Seychelles on Monday September 26, 2022 issued an interlocutory order for disposal of assets in the matter of Fahreen Rajan under Section 4 of Proceeds of Crime (Civil Confiscation) Act 2008.
In a hearing at the Supreme Court of Seychelles on September 26, Justice Mohan Burhan ordered that shares purchased in AP Towers Holdings PTE Limited (Company Registration No 201937707D) were not to be disposed of by any person, or otherwise diminish the value of the shares. The Order related to the proposed confiscation of 4,954,491 fully paid-up ordinary shares of the company registered in Singapore, bought by Fahreen Rajan in 2016.
The Court had heard that the shares, with an estimated value of between US $3-4 million, had been purchased allegedly on behalf of Mukesh Valabhji, and that subsequently a false loan document had been submitted to satisfy the company and US regulatory authorities that Ms Rajan had legitimately bought the shares.
Ms Rajan accepted, through her lawyer Daniel Cesar, that she had acted unlawfully when buying the shares for Mr Valabhji, and did not contest the application.
In accordance with the law, this interlocutory order follows the interim order under section 3 of the Proceeds of Crime (Civil Confiscation) Act 2008 on August 23, 2022. Judge Burhan, also appointed Superintendent Neville Thaver of the Financial Crimes Investigation Unit (FCIU) as Receiver over all or part of the property, to manage, keep possession or dispose of, or otherwise deal with the property, pursuant to section 8 of the Proceeds of Crime (Civil Confiscation) Act 2008, as amended.
After the court hearing Anti-Corruption Commission Seychelles (ACCS) Commissioner May de Silva said: “This order shows that the Anti-Corruption Commission is going well beyond the boundaries of Seychelles to gather evidence of corruption and money laundering, and with the continued assistance of all our global partners we will continue to hold people accountable for corrupt practices and the acquisition of illicit wealth. In due course an application will be made to the Court for a Disposal Order under section 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act, so that the shares may be sold and the money raised transferred to the Republic of Seychelles.”
On July 28, 2022, Ms Rajan had criminal charges withdrawn against her, having provided witness statements to the ACCS investigation and indicated that she would give evidence for the prosecution against any persons charged with offences arising from the facts of the case. On that date, the Court was told that the investigation into Mukesh and Laura Valabhji’s alleged involvement continues.
The investigation conducted by the ACCS led to the civil confiscation proceedings being brought by the Attorney General on behalf of the FCIU, represented by ACCS and State Counsel, Edmund Vickers, KC.
Press release from ACCS