BHI Ponzi: Global & Local’s Haldane ‘lawyers up’ – promises a full response is coming

One of the central characters in the R3bn BHI Trust Ponzi scheme, Global & Local founder Michael Haldane, has ‘lawyered up’ demanding that BizNews removes an article we published at lunchtime yesterday which asked whether money invested into the Ponzi scheme operated by Craig Warriner’s BHI Trust had ended up in a web of companies abroad.

Haldane’s lawyer, Heetesh Sureshbhai Patel of HSP Attorneys of 235 Barry Hertzog Avenue, Emmarentia in Johannesburg (pic below), threatened an urgent interdict because the story “incorrectly suggests that Global & Local and Haldane have unduly benefited from the alleged unlawful conduct of the BHI Trust and its trustee Warriner.”

Since the story broke last week, BizNews has made numerous attempts to engage with Haldane, both through requests for an interview and then after detailed information on offshore entities emerged, at lunchtime on Wednesday emailed seven questions with a request for an urgent response.

Today’s email from his attorney is the first time he has responded in any way. We waited a full 24 hours for a response to the emailed questions before publishing yesterday’s article. Shortly after the article appeared, Investec Bank informed clients that it will be closing all accounts associated with Global & Local.

Haldane’s attorney has requested that BizNews “remove the article in its present form until such time that our clients are able to provide a response thereto.’ It also states that “Our clients intended to respond to those questions in due course, but before they could do so , the article had already been published.

In anticipation of receiving his comments, the article has been amended to remove all references to Haldane and Global & Local.

Patel’s letter, which was emailed to [email protected], reads:

Dear Sirs

RE: RESPONSE TO YOUR ARTICLE DATED 9 NOVEMBER 2023, ENTITLED “BHI PONZI: THE WEB OF OFF-SHORE COMPANIES WHERE MISSING BILLIONS MAY HAVE ENDED UP” AUTHORED BY CHRIS STEYN

We act on behalf of Global and Local Investment Advisors (Pty) Ltd (“GLIA”), together with Mr Michael Haldane .

We refer to the article published on your website on 9 November 2023, entitled “BHI Ponzi: The Web Of Off-Shore Companies Where Missing Billions May Have Ended Up” Authored By Chris Steyn (“the Article”).

On 8 November 2023, you addressed correspondence to us seeking a response to certain questions. Our clients intended to respond to those questions in due course, but before they could do so, the Article had already been published.

In publishing the Article, Chris Steyn and BizNews, published untrue, false, and defamatory statements against our clients, which have prejudiced our clients, in that it incorrectly suggests that GLIA and Mr Haldane have unduly benefited from the allegedly unlawful conduct of the BHI Trust and its trustee, Mr Craig Warriner.

In order to remedy this, our clients intend to deliver a detailed response to the allegations contained in the Article, indicating that the allegations made against our clients are false and incorrect.

In the interim, and to prevent any further undue prejudice to our clients, we request that you remove the Article in its present form until such time that our clients are able to provide a response thereto. Once that is done, the Article and our clients comments can be republished.

We request an undertaking from you to this effect by no later than 17h00 today, failing which our client reserves the right to institute urgent proceedings out of the appropriate Court.

Beyond that, our clients reserve their right in respect of any further legal process against both you and any person referred to in the Article, including a claim for damages arising out of your publication of the Article.

Our client’s rights remain reserved.

Yours faithfully
(SGD) MR H S PATEL
HSP ATTORNEYS
(transmitted electronically and therefore not signed)

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