Malawi: Speedy's Riaz Jakhura Flees to the UK After Court Orders His Arrest

12 January 2022

The Mbulumbuzi Magistrate's Court in Chiradzulu, on Sunday ruled that a warrant of arrest for Speedy's Group of Companies' managing director Riaz Jakhura should remain in force until executed.

Jakhura, whose family owns Rab Processors in Blantyre, fled the country a few hours after the warrant of arrest was issued for him and three accomplices. He is believed to be in the United Kingdom, where he also has other business interests. He also holds a British passport.

According to police sources, a 'red notice' has since been issued against Jakhura for Interpol to arrest him and deport him back to Malawi to face charges.

Jakhura and three accomplices--Bashir Osman Adams, who is owner of Adams Car Hire Limited, Jayaraj Gobalan who is the general manager for Speedy's Limited and Financial Controller, Priyal Fernando, are suspected of theft, criminal trespass and intimidation.

National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera told Nyasa Times on Sunday that the offences were allegedly committed on December 24, 2021 at Mount Pleasant in Blantyre where Jakhura, in the company of the three, allegedly stormed into a private residence, where they demanded a Mercedes Benz vehicle that Jakhura had imported from the United Kingdom on behalf of a client.

"The vehicle was worth over K60 million and the said client paid the price and attendant payments to Jakhura. But after some days, he brought up extra bills and when the said client demanded a valid explanation, Jakhura threatened to confiscate the car from him although the car had already been registered in the client's name.

"When the client refused to surrender the car, Jakhura and his friends went to the client's residence, and allegedly physically manhandled him in full view of his wife and children and later sped away with the vehicle using a duplicate key," said a police source close to the investigation.

On Saturday, January 8, Police in Blantyre arrested the three suspects. They were kept at Chilomoni Police Station before they were released on bail by the Mbulumbuzi Magistrate's Court on Sunday January 9.

The court granted bail on condition that each accused person be bonded at K500, 000 cash, each to produce one surety bonded at K500,000 non cash, that they report at South West Region Police Headquarters once every fortnight on Tuesdays, that they should not visit the house of the complainant, and that they should not interfere with State investigations.

The court also ordered them to surrender their travel documents.

Bashir Osman Adams was also contemplating leaving the country through Chileka International Airport on Saturday for the United Kingdom before the pounced on him. At the time of his arrest, he had already booked a flight to the UK.

Bashir Osman is not new to vehicle-related offences because around 2000, he also fled the country when he was implicated in a scandal involving the supply of reconditioned Land Rovers to government at a price of new ones. He fled to the United Kingdom before he resurfaced in Malawi after a change of government.

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