CARMEL RICKARD: When friends fall out
A recent UK court case sounds like something out of a movie: an off-book business, money secreted offshore, a falling out between business partners, Swiss bank accounts — even the SA Revenue Service makes an appearance
A new judgment from the UK’s courts will put at rest the minds of two SA businesspeople, by finding that funds in several Swiss bank accounts belong to them and must be accounted for.
The funds were part of about R200m earned from an "off-book business", which ran alongside the legitimate dealings of the Jumbo group of companies for a decade. The court decision throws light on what happened to that money and the impact of a falling out between the four major shareholders of Jumbo. It also highlights the role of an "agent" in the UK who was supposed to use part of the funds for the benefit of the two SA businesspeople, but under whose watch the funds might have disappeared...