The BAs were given to Interfin by Tetrad as security for an interbank deal the two parties entered into.
In a letter seen by businessdigest dated February 27, 2012 from IBC MD Raymond Njanike to Tetrad’s lawyer Vulindlela Sibanda of Mawere & Sibanda Legal Practioners, the banker absolves Tetrad from blame in a fight over who should settle BAs in Shah’s possession.
The letter was lodged with the Zimbabwe Republic Police as evidence in response to Shah’s fraud complaint against IBC and Tetrad.
“I will not go into too much detail about this transaction because you have already been briefed. However, I would like to correct the issue regarding the security as follows: the deal was done by my (Interfin) treasury team and Jayesh Shah. The treasury back office was instructed by Shah, who was away in the UK, to deliver the security to me. I kept the security for the deal in safe custody on his behalf. I also keep other safe custody parcels for various clients in my safe and this is not the normal bank safe. Mr Shah has since requested for some of the custodial parcels, which included the BAs,” said Njanike.
“In the normal course of business, the BAs were supposed to be presented via Interfin Bank for payment. Unfortunately, Mr Shah was not comfortable presenting the bills through Interfin Bank. I understand that a set-off deal was done between the two treasuries and on that basis Interfin has to make good for Mr Shah to release the BAs.”
Njanike apologised for the inconvenience caused to Tetrad.
“I hope this will not affect the relationship that exists between our institutions,” he said.
An earlier letter to IBC from Tetrad’s back officer manager, a C Tiwaraye dated February 23 reads: “Reference is made to our previous communication with your office regarding security that you hold for deals between the two banks that have long matured.
“We have made efforts to collect our BAs in your custody since the deal matured on the 26th of January 2012. On all occasions we have been given excuses as to why the security is not being released back to us. “We therefore request you to advise in writing the status of our security and when we are to receive it. Find attached our security calling sheet.”
Another e-mail from an IBC official Tafadzwa Chinyoka to a Tetrad back office employee Perpetua Masiyiwa dated February 6 reads: “We confirm having received your BAs to secure an investment which has matured. We had forwarded the BAs to a third party and the person with the keys to the safe with the BAs is on leave. Our client is making efforts to get the BAs returned as soon as possible.”
The latest information gives a new dimension to the Shah, Tetrad and Interfin debacle.
Shah had reported the two financial institutions for fraud after Interfin failed to settle BAs valued around US$750 000 on maturity.
The information lends credence to Tetrad MD Emmanuel Chikaka’s claims, last month, that his bank had honoured their side of the deal.
When reached for comment Chikaka refused to comment on the matter citing confidentiality issues.
Njanike had not responded to our enquiries at the time of going to press.