BHI Ponzi: “Third Parties” targeted in hunt for the missing billions

By Chris Steyn

People and legal entities “at the heart “ of South Africa’s latest Ponzi scheme may soon receive court summonses to reveal more about the dealings of the BHI Trust – and funds in the hands of  “third parties” may be ordered frozen or seized.

This as forensic and legal experts are set to scour bank statements and financial information of parties of interest for the billions investors lost to the Trust.

That follows the Joint Provisional Trustees (JPTs), Sumaya Mohamed Ali and Gert De Wet, receiving consent from the Master of the High Court to appoint such experts to “protect, preserve and proceed with the recovery of missing funds from the BHI Trust through any permissible legal avenues”.

Mohamed Ali and De Wet received their certificate as Master-appointed JPTs on 30 October, and made a follow-up application on 2 November to extend their powers from mere caretaking.

The JPTs have now confirmed in a statement that they will apply to the Master of the High Court to request and obtain inter alia financial information and bank statements “which would otherwise not be available” for investigation.

“According to Section 152 of the Act, the JPTs will request the Master of the High Court to summons various identified individuals, who would possibly shed light on the nature of the dealings of the Trust. The enquiry process would further illuminate claims against additional individuals and or legal entities at the heart of the scheme. 

“Our intention for a successful application to the Master of the High Court to proceed with an insolvency enquiry into the financial affairs of The Trust, together with the appointments of legal and forensic experts, will enhance our abilities to identify and where applicable to seek the appropriate relief from the court in seizing or freezing funds in the hand of third parties. The recovery of funds will be the benefit of the investors and creditors of the BHI Trust.”

On 25 October, the sum of only R4 785 164.96 was found in the Trust’s Nedbank bank account, and the JPTs requested Nedbank to pay those funds over to BHI Trust’s estate account.

The return date for the final sequestration of the Trust is set for 7 February 2024

* All investors and creditors of the Trust can refer to https://www.insolventbhi.com to receive up to date information as to the progress of administration of the Trust by the JPTs. The prescribed statutory claim forms are also available on the website.

* Creditors and shareholders can contact the JPTs exclusively on [email protected]

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