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US investor duped, files for 1.7bn/- claim

AMID government efforts to attract investments in different sectors, an American investor claims to have been duped over 700m/- in joint venture in residential apartment in Dar es Salaam. 

The investor, Mr Amir Sunderji, claims to have injected 450,000 US dollars for two apartments he never received in the Kawe Residential Project on Plot No. 78/1-4 Msasani Beach in Kinondoni District. 

Already, Mr Sunderji has filed a case before the High Court, demanding over 1.7bn/- as refund and damages. 

It is alleged that other foreign investors from Australia, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have lost their funds to the deceitful developers who are allegedly running a pyramid scheme to defraud unsuspecting investors of their money. 

In its defence before Lady Justice Beatrice Mutungi, the defendant’s company whose directors and shareholders are Chandulal Walji and Dhirajlal Walji, has vehemently disputed the claims and requested the court to dismiss the case in its entirety. 

The defendant has filed an application, seeking orders to have the American investor, as a foreigner, depositing in court security for costs that could be easily recovered in case he loses the suit, which is still pending. 

In the suit, Mr Sunderji claims to have entered in an agreement with the defendant to purchase two of the 42 apartments that would have been developed on Plot No. 78/1-4 at Msasani Beach in Dar es Salaam for a total consideration of 400,000 US dollars. 

The plaintiff, however, paid the defendant 450,000 dollars for investment in the project. It is alleged that the defendant was to complete the entire project by erecting the 42 apartments together with all the external works, landscaping, swimming pool and road pavements by May 1, 2012. 

According to the plaint, upon default in completion of the project, the defendant had to pay one per cent of the consideration per month for each month of delay beyond the specific period of completion. 

The plaintiff alleges that the project was delayed for reasons unknown to him and it was agreed by the parties that the defendant will pay him 450,000 dollars as refund for the payment made. 

It is claimed that the plaintiff has on several occasions communicated with the defendant concerning the procedure for the debt repayment and the defendant had never denied the liability. 

As a result of their conversations via emails, the defendant allegedly managed to refund the plaintiff 100,000 US dollars only being part of the money paid. “The defendant to date has not refunded the remaining 350,000 US dollars to the plaintiff,” reads part of the plaint of the suit. 

It is alleged further that the plaintiff has on several occasions reminded the defendant company through several demand letters to finalise payment of the remaining amount owed to him, but the defendant is claimed to have not heeded the demand. 

“The plaintiff through the December 7, 2015 demand letter proposed the manner in which the debt is to be paid in seven quarterly installments of 50,000 US dollars. However, the defendant ignored to respond to the letter to date,” the plaint of the suit further states. 

The plaintiff resolved to institute the suit, as the only recourse available to recover his money. He is requesting the court to order the defendant to pay him the 350,000 US dollars as specific damages being amount the defendant ought to refund. 

He also seeks for payments of one per cent penalty per month of the 450,000 dollar consideration from May 1, 2012 to the date of judgment and 1bn/- general damages and interests at 12 per cent on decretal sum. 

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Author: FAUSTINE KAPAMA

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