Speedy’s Riaz Jakhura dodges, lies to court, flees – State want him arrested

Media reports in January, 2022 said that Riaz Jakhura of Speedy’s Car Sales Limited had fled the country when the police wanted him to answer criminal charges. The Mbulumbuzi Magistrate Court in Chiradzulu ruled, on January 9, 2022, that a warrant for his arrest must remain in force until executed.

Jakhura and other three people-Bashir Osman Adams, who is owner of Adams Car Hire Limited, the General Manager for Speedy’s Limited, Jayaraj Gobalan, and Financial Controller, Priyal Fernando, are accused of theft, criminal trespass and intimidation. Jakhura later came back to answer charges and the case is currently in court before Blantyre Principal Resident Magistrate Godfrey Balaka.

However, in a new twist of events, Jakhura, who is the first accused, has fled the country again just before taking plea. According to a court affidavit by South West Regional Police Prosecution Officer, Superintendent Damian Kaputa that we have seen, Jakhura and his accomplices were slated to enter plea on 5th September 2022, but when the day came, Jakhura was nowhere to be seen. His lawyer, Lusungu Gondwe of Ritz Associates informed the court that he failed to communicate to his client on the date of plea taking and that his client was also feeling unwell.

The State has asked the court to issue a fresh warrant for Jakhura for failing to appear before it and Principal Magistrate Balaka has said he will give his judgement at a later date.

Riaz Jakhura, Speedy Managing Director

However, Kaputa’s affidavit alleges that this was a lie because Jakhura was personally served with notice and had full knowledge of the plea entering date.

“Quite contrary to the forgoing, the 1st accused person had been served personally with the notice of adjournment relating to the 5th September 2022 appointment. There is now produced and exhibited hereto marked “S1” copy of the notice of adjournment (served on the 1st accused on the 17th August 2022),” reads part of Kaputa’s affidavit.

According to Kaputa, Jakhura left the county on 2nd September 2022 despite having full knowledge that he was required to enter plea at the court on 5th September, 2022. The prosecutor went on to produce Jakhura’s itinerary in court to show that he left the country on 2nd September, 2022 and is due to return later in the year on 9th November, 2022.

Jakhura’s lawyer, [Lusungu] Gondwe wrote to the court on 4th September 2022 that his client (Riaz Jakhura ) had to be lifted by air ambulance to London in Britain for a respiratory emergency “as he is suffering from fibrosis”.

Gondwe claimed that his client is currently attending a wellness clinic, and that he will be attending numerous clinic appointments. He did not mention the dates when his client will be attending the clinics.

In a twist to the story, private prosecutor, Alinane Kauka wrote Jakhura’s lawyer, Lusungu Gondwe seeking further details to the ‘lifted by air ambulance’ story. In response, lawyer Lusungu Gondwe retracted the story saying there was a mix up and that he was talking about another of his clients and not Jakhura.

However, Kaputa added that according to his investigation, Jakhura is not in London as communicated by his lawyer but that he is in Dubai.

Said Kaputa: “Information gathered by me shows that 1st accused is presently in Dubai, and that he will leave Dubai for London on 15th October, 2022; thereafter he will leave London for Dubai again on 2nd November, 2022, and that on 9th November, 2022 he will leave Dubai for Johannesburg where he will connect to Blantyre.”

On December 24, 2021, Riaz Jakhura, in the company of the three, allegedly stormed into a private residence of a client, businessman Mahmood Chaudhry at Mount Pleasant in Blantyre where they demanded a Mercedes Benz vehicle that he (Jakhura) had imported from the United Kingdom on behalf of the client.

The vehicle was worth over K60 million and the said client paid the price and attendant payments to Jakhura. But after some days, Mr. Jakhura brought up extra bills and when Chaudhry 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 allegedly physically manhandled him and later sped away with the vehicle using a duplicate key. Blantyre Police arrested the three other suspects and kept them at Chilomoni Police Station before they were released on bail by the Mbulumbuzi Magistrate’s Court on January 9, 2022 on condition that each accused person be bonded at K500,000; each to produce one surety bonded at K500,000 not cash; they surrender their travel documents; should not interfere with State investigations; and they should not visit the complainant’s house.

According to one legal expert, lying to court is a serious offence, which may attract a lot of years’ jail term.

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1 year ago

What were the bail conditions again Sir?

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