VBS-linked company luxury cars go under the hammer

Johannesburg – The tide is turning against those who looted the doomed VBS Mutual Bank.

The curator of the bank, Anoosh Rooplal, has successfully applied to attach six luxury cars belonging to Firmanox, allegedly bought under dubious circumstances and financed by the bank.

This comes after the Joburg High Court, in a judgment that Sunday World is in possession of, gave Rooplal the green light to put Firmanox into liquidation for monies owed to VBS.

Rooplal said the debt owed by Firmanox to VBS arose from an overdraft facility and finance agreements of six vehicles, worth over R24 million.

Firmanox’s total indebtedness under the overdraft facility and vehicle finance agreements, according to him, is the amount of R24 137 317.04.

He alleged that the debt owed by Firmanox to VBS forms part of a larger fraudulent scheme perpetrated on VBS, which resulted in a loss to it of an amount in excess of R1-billion.

The cars in question include:

  • a Jeep Cherokee
  • a Ford Ranger
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Land Rover Discovery
  • Peugeot Tonnes
  • and a Mercedes-Benz Viano – all purchased in May 2016.

Firmanox has to date paid only eight of the monthly instalments.

Rooplal said the amounts outstanding in respect of each vehicle finance agreement, including interest, were:

  • R1 061 224.27 for the Jeep Cherokee,
  • R493 835.71 for the Ford Ranger,
  • R886 234.55 for the Mercedes Benz,
  • R905 672.22 for the Land Rover Discovery,
  • R651 645.58 for the Peugeot Tonnes
  • and R796 439.52 for the Mercedes Benz Viano.

He said he would proceed to sell the vehicles now that the court had ruled that he should wind up Firmanox.

“The liquidator of the relevant company or the VBS liquidator will proceed to sell the vehicles to recover as much of the debt due to VBS as possible. Most of the vehicles were subject to an instalment sale, which means VBS is secured for that portion of the debt due to it and gets paid first, less administration costs, from the proceeds from a sale of the vehicle,” Rooplal told Sunday World.

has paid only
eight of the monthly
instalments for the luxury vehicles.

“The company [Firmanox] was only wound up recently and for that reason we do not know what assets it has and thus we cannot say whether there are sufficient funds to repay VBS. It is, however, very unlikely that they have sufficient cash or assets to repay VBS.”

VBS liquidator will proceed to sell vehicles to recover … the debt due

According to company records, Firmanox has two active directors – Konanani Muleba and Simon Ntshayintshayi.

Both Muleba and Ntshayintshayi could not be reached for comment.

Rooplal had also flagged a March 2017 “fictitious credit” of R15 500 000 created in Firmanox’s overdrawn bank account with VBS to clear the overdrawn account.

Rooplal said the amount that was owed by Firmanox to VBS in respect of its overdrawn bank account had been calculated by reversing the fictitious entry and recalculating the account balance and interest.

Once that was done, the amount arrived at as owing by Firmanox to VBS in respect of its overdrawn account was R19 342 265.19.

Former VBS chairman Tshifhiwa Matodzi and top executives of the bank are facing fraud and corruption charges over the scandal that saw about R2-billion looted from the bank’s holdings.

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