Sivan writes to ZACC refuting claims he siphoned millions out of Zim
A Harare businessman Ofer Sivan has written to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) chairperson Loice Matanda Moyo dismissing claims by Israeli businessman Gilad Shabtai that he siphoned millions of dollars into offshore accounts.
Through his lawyers Tarugarira Sande Attorney, Sivan accused Shabtai of using his recent meeting with President Emmerson Mnangagwa where he was paraded as an investor to intimidate law officers.
This follows Shabtai’s letter to ZACC, Minister of Justice and the National Prosecuting Authority in which he allegedly attempted to pre-empt a pending court case in which he reported Sivan for forging signatures.
“Gilad Shabtai, is a fugitive of justice. He has several dockets pending before the criminal courts and cannot purport to be clean when approaching your office. His hands are dirty,” reads part of the letter.
He made reference to earlier media reports where Shabtai “approached the Office of the President and took pictures and peddled lies” which his lawyers are now using to intimidate law officers over non-existent relations with the President.
Sivan added that the alleged report made by Shabtai to ZACC and the ongoing persecution before the courts are meant only to damage his name, and to divert the attention from the real crimes that were committed by Shabtai.
“Our client believes that he deserves justice and fairness from your office too. The articles are not only damaging to him but hundreds of employees that the company is employing, its suppliers and customers,” added Sivan.
He laid into Shabtai accusing him of fooling the President by presenting himself as an investor when he has been in Zimbabwe for over 11 years without any productive investment.
Sivan added that the Commercial Crimes Department of the police failed to execute the warrant of arrest when Shabtai sneaked into the country guising as an investor.
“The Commercial Crimes Department within the Zimbabwe Republic Police, who is seized with the docket has not executed the warrant yet the lawyers to Gilad Shabtai and Munyaradzi Gonyora are now boasting that he is meeting the President as an investor. Gilad has been in the country for the past 11 years and not one investment has been done by him,” said Sivan.
Responding to a letter that Shabtai’s lawyers published in the media that he siphoned money to offshore accounts, Sivan said the company’s cumulative turnover since inception has not reached the US$30 Million alleged by Shabtai.
“… the company’s cumulative turnover since inception has not reached 30 Million United States dollars and one wonders how he siphoned such amount,” further reads the letter.
Sivan also complained of selective application of the law, saying his reports to the RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit Commercial Crimes Department of ZRP against Shabtai have not been actioned.
“…Gilad Shabtai and Munyaradzi Gonyora have been involved in the illegal externalisation of funds, tax evasion, illegal opening of bank accounts, and fraud involving Getbucks.
“All these allegations were reported to the Commercial Crimes Department within the Zimbabwe Republic Police but to date nothing has been done.
“A report was also made to the Financial Intelligence Unit several months ago, nothing has been done yet, as Shabtai is a fugitive with an outstanding warrant of arrest against him and he is avoiding investigation but at the same time he is sending letters to complain and intimidate law enforcement offices claiming to be a victim ” added Sivan.