Lira City based Asian investors defrauded of Shs 9b

LIRA – Asian investors dealing in oil seeds and milling in Lira City have been defrauded of Shs 9b after supplying soya beans, sunflower and cotton to Agri Exim Uganda Limited and were not paid.

The investors include; Dev Patel of Premukh Miller, Farook Wakas of Farook Agro Ug Ltd, Muhammed Shahid of Mian Agro Ug Ltd, Anifa Aguti of Umaima Business Solution and Basra Gurcharan of Guru Nanak.

According to a letter directed to MP Judith Alyek, the Chairperson of Lango Parliamentary Group (LPG), they are seeking the intervention of the MPs and President Yoweri Museveni over the matter and protection against the fraudsters.

In the letter signed by Muhammad Atiq, the President of the Pakistani Association in Lango, they indicated that Patel lost Shs 3.6b, Farook Shs 2.3b, Shahid Shs 644m, Aguti Shs 498m and Gurcharan Shs 571m to the fraudulent deal.

The investors accused the Office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of frustrating their struggle to pin Agri Exim (U) Ltd over their money.

Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga when contacted said, he was in a meeting and would call later.

The transaction happened between March and June 2021 according to the letter.

“Around March and June 2021, we had a transaction of supplies with Agri Exim Ltd based in Oyam, but incidentally it turned out to be a fraudulent deal that has led to their loss,” the letter reads in part.

Atiq said, they are tax paying investors in Uganda and employing more than 200 people directly and about 1,000 people indirectly.

Atiq further said, they noticed that the company altered the names of the suppliers and replaced them with the names of individual farmers or local people.

“When we went to demand for the payment, they claimed we were all paid and we should not continue bothering them,” he said.

In the Memorandum of Understanding between Dev Patel (Pramukh Millers) and the company, dated February 27, 2021, they agreed that they would supply 1,500 metric tons of soya beans at the cost of Shs 2,650 per kilogram making a total of Shs 3.975bn.

The company, according to the MoU, committed itself to pay for the supplied produce from May 20, 2021 to June 7, 2021.

“When I went to collect my money, the Manager told me, my Local Purchase Order (LPO) was forged and fake and that he had already paid a person who supplied them,” Patel said.

Gajanan Ashok Patil, the former Manager said, he was no longer working with the company but he was still in office when he received the produce of the investors and were not paid.

“I am not part of them at the moment. I left because they were also disturbing me,” he says.

Farook appealed to the President to prevail and help them to recover the monies otherwise their business will collapse.

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