Company boss in trouble over M1.1 million fraud

Company boss in trouble over M1.1 million fraud

Leisa Leisanyane

MASERU

A managing director of a local pharmaceutical equipment company is expected to appear in court today facing two counts of fraud and one of theft after he allegedly made false representation to the Ministry of Agriculture in 2014.
Bokang Ramaili, who owns Quatro Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd, was nabbed by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) which had been investigating him for months.
The crown says the Ministry of Agriculture lost over M1.1 million in the bogus transaction.
According to the charge sheet the Ministry was allocated budget for the Intensive Crop Production Programme (ICP) in 2014/2015 financial year to address food
insecurity.
Part of the money allocated was supposed to be used to subsidise for agricultural inputs and mechanical operation.
The plan was to buy seeds, fertilizer and chemicals for farmers.
The other portion of the money was to be used for rehabilitation of soil testing and plant protection laboratories under the Department of Agricultural Research.
There was a decision that the budget allocation for this programme should be in the Department of Crop Services.
The charge sheet says in October 2014 the Ministry was in need of a laboratory system or equipment called Gas Chromatography.
Also there was a need for an Auto-Analyser 3 High Resolution.
Tenders were invited for the supply of the machines.
Quatro Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd won the tender to supply and install the laboratory equipment of Gas Chromatography and Auto-Analyser 3 High Resolution.
During the signing of the contract, according to the charge sheet, the Ministry was represented by Nchemo Maile while the company was represented by Ramaili.
The company was supposed to deliver the equipment within 90 days.
Upon delivery, the delivery note would be signed to confirm the delivery of equipment in its described fashion and in the order that it had to be.
This company is a specialised dealer in medical and laboratory equipment.
On February 26, 2015 Airlink, an airline company operating at Moshoeshoe I International Airport, received lab equipment from a company called Chemitrix which is based in Midrand, South Africa.
The waybill instruction was that it should be dispatched to the Lesotho Sun Hotel, which is now
Avani Hotel.
The waybill number was 749 400010482.
The customs unit seized the equipment at the airport because no duties were paid for it.
The VAT to be paid for it was M100 274.
Ramaili was allegedly informed and called to pay the VAT, which was never paid.
Facing this predicament, Ramaili allegedly requested the Ministry to pay his company so that he could pay the required VAT in order that the equipment could be released.
The charge sheet says the Ministry went to the airport to see if the equipment met the specifications and the officials having satisfied themselves paid the company.
The payment was made to Ramaili through Standard Lesotho Bank account number 01400609871 on March 27, 2015.
Ramaili and his company allegedly never paid the required VAT to the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA).
Also, the equipment was allegedly never delivered to the Ministry.
Furthermore, Chemitrix was allegedly never paid for the equipment.
The crown accuses Ramaili of making false representation to Chemitrix that it would only be paid once the Ministry was satisfied with the specifications of the equipment and encouraging Chemitrix to dispatch the equipment for viewing by the Ministry.
Ramaili is also accused of making false representations to the Ministry when he said they needed to pay VAT for the equipment to be released.
The charge sheet says Chemitrix was prejudiced with the loss of equipment worth US$65 687 (about M881 528) while the Ministry lost over M1.1 million.

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