15th August 2018
Anti-Corruption Raids Lebanese Tycoon's Offices Despite Fawaz Clearing the Air!
By James Cole (09/08/18)
A top Lebanese tycoon in Freetown has been smeared with corruption allegations in recent times and now the Anti-Corruption has lumbered in.
There was a major raid this week by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in search of evidence of grand corruption racket in Freetown. The ACC reportedly stormed the Fawaz Building Materials at 18 Charlotte Street and the TPMS offices at 19 Liverpool Street in Freetown, where huge loads of documents were confiscated. (Photo: Hamid Fawaz).
Reports say there was a stand-off when the ACC demanded that Hamid Fawaz's huge safe be opened and the ACC even insisted on arresting the entire staff if the safe was not opened. After an 8 hour storm, the safe was eventually opened and a pile of business records and documents were recovered and taken to the ACC headquarters.
It is yet unclear where this will head but the no-nonsense ACC investigators seemed to know exactly what they wanted and went for it without compromise armed with a search warrant signed by the ACC Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala himself. Below is the full corruption allegation story according to Mr. Abdul Hamid Hajj Fawaz:
Lebanese Tycoon Clears the Air as US$21M Yoni Farm Project Looms in Sierra Leone!
By Ibrahim A. Kamara (09/08/18)
The chaos around the Yoni Rice Farm Project has not gone well with popular Lebanese tycoon Abdul Fawaz who fought to protect his reputation.
Mr. Abdul Hamid Hajj Fawaz, the popular Sierra Leone national of Lebanese origin and business guru and owner of the famous Fawaz Building Materials (FBM) in Freetown, was involved in the recent 21 million United States dollar Yoni Farm Project allegations which captured the media attention in the country.
According to the allegations, Fawaz allegedly connived with one British man Robert McKenderick to divert over sixteen million nine hundred thousand pounds sterling (£16,900,000,) that was meant for the rice project at Yoni Farm into private pockets.
As stated in previous articles, Mr. Abdul Hamid Fawaz had responded to the allegations and in doing so his own side of the story behind the whole Yoni Farm Project saga was established. He denied any form of corrupt practices. (Photo: The ACC Chairman Francis Ben Kaifala, a man on a mission).
With the multiple evidence abound, this media can now authoritatively state without any hesitation that Fawaz is unequivocally innocent and was never part of the evil plot orchestrated by Robert McKenderick and his gang of criminals. As a matter of fact, Fawaz himself also fell prey to those crooks who disguised themselves as investors.
For the benefit of the reading populace, here are the details of what transpired between Fawaz and McKenderick and his criminal gang and the poor Sierra Leoneans who suffered the most in the whole Yoni Rice saga.
In 2009, Robert McKenderick and his gang of criminals from UK came to Sierra Leone on the pretext of investing in agriculture and specifically in rice farming. Upon arrival, Robert and his group clandestinely went to Yoni and manipulated the inhabitants to lease 4,300 acres of land to them for pittances. And 3000 acres of the lease agreement for a 50 year investment was recorded.
After Robert and his gang had gone deep into the fraud, the innocent Hamid Fawaz was brought into the picture through Agri Capital Sierra Leone, a company that was registered in order to carry out the farming project.
Unknowingly to Mr. Fawaz, he bought 20% shares in the company. Being an experienced man in agricultural production with excellent contacts in Sierra Leone, he was appointed Marketing and Distribution Director in Agri Capital SL where he was to oversee the production, distribution and sales of the rice in Sierra Leone.
With these arrangements made, Robert and his gang left for UK to lure investors who are mostly pensioners into putting their monies into the project. After getting over 160 pensioners to put their monies into the Yoni Rice Farm project totalling £16,900,000, crook Robert diverted the money by forming a new company in 2012 called Capital Mining Limited in order to get rid of Fawaz as a shareholder.
As if that was not enough, Robert changed Agri Capital SL into African Land and sold all the shares in the London Stock Exchange without the knowledge of innocent Fawaz. With this and many other fraudulent activities by Robert, Fawaz then realised that he was dealing with a criminal and hence decided to quit all dealings with Robert.
However, the decision by Fawaz to quit was not welcomed by crook Robert because of the financial implications it would have on him and his gang and then reportedly pleaded with Fawaz to continue to stay but Fawaz outrightly refused.
In February, 2014 in what was described as twist of events, Robert and his gang of criminals and entities were taken to court in UK by the FCA for multiple fraudulent activities including defrauding over 160 pensioners and were then convicted, a result which led to freezing most of his monies and assets in UK.
After all efforts from Fawaz to get his money and the 20% profit that due him yielded no dividend, Fawaz also used the last alternative and sued Robert and his group to court here in Sierra Leone where the court ordered Robert to surrender all equipment, machinery, tools and all other hardware located in the store or warehouse to Fawaz among other orders for his money and his 20% profits.
With all the above events been unfolded, it is very clear that Fawaz did nothing wrong in the entire business and transactions that took place. The documents relating to the entire business transaction that surrounds the $21M Yoni Rice Farm fraud orchestrated by Robert McKenderick will be published later.
Courtesy: By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara, Sierra Express Media