Fraudster drags city bigwigs to court

2018-06-22 09:29
Visham Panday, brother of controversial Umhlanga businessman Thoshan Panday, is a convicted fraudster who served nine months of an effective three-year prison sentence for several fraud cases, including planning a hacking operation that saw South African banks robbed of almost R1?billion.

Visham Panday, brother of controversial Umhlanga businessman Thoshan Panday, is a convicted fraudster who served nine months of an effective three-year prison sentence for several fraud cases, including planning a hacking operation that saw South African banks robbed of almost R1?billion. (File)

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Convicted fraudster Visham Panday has dragged several city “big-wigs” to court and claims they want him dead.

Panday dramatically claims in papers before the Pietermaritzburg high court that Dr Navind Dayanand had paid R1 million for a “hit” on his life, and implicated his wife, Nirupa, Brigadier Francis Bantham and senior magistrate Ashin Singh in the plot.

He also implicates retired policeman Yusuf Abbas “Pipes” Haffajee in an alleged attempt to extort money from him.

Panday brought an urgent application to stop them from harassing, assaulting or intimidating him, or getting anyone else to harass him.

Panday also wants to restrain them from communicating with him.

No order was granted and the case was adjourned to August.

Panday claims the threats stem from a business deal over the sale of Krugerrand coins to the doctor.

But the doctor says he innocently tried to buy a flat from Panday without knowing he “is a man with a clandestine character and is prone to fraudulent conduct”. He also thinks that Panday may be trying to extort R7 million from him.

Panday is described by Singh in court papers as “a notorious criminal who has served time in prison, with his witness Razak Khan, an equally notorious convicted criminal”.

Khan served time for the murder of Surie Maharaj, known as the leader of the Curry Mafia.

Singh also said Panday has previously brought “frivolous applications” and made complaints against NPA officials and Hawks members.

In his affidavit Panday said he’d met the doctor and his wife at the Daymed Hospital in March. They wanted to buy gold Krugerrand coins and agreed to pay him a R425 000 deposit.

The money was deposited into his bank account.

Brigadier Francis Bantham, senior Pietermaritzburg magistrate Ashin Singh, Dr Navind Dayanand and retired policeman Pipes Haffajee.

Subsequently he said the doctor had shown him a threatening e-mail allegedly sent to him, following which Panday requested the balance of payment for the coins.

On April 5, Haffajee told him that Bantham (who knew the doctor) was getting threatening messages and being extorted.

He claims the next day Bantham told him to pay her R600 000 to make two dockets opened against him disappear.

On May 7, he laid criminal charges of extortion against the doctor and his wife, Bantham and Haffajee, he said.

Later that month, the police investigating his allegations approached the regional court for a search and seizure warrant in respect of the doctor.

Singh was not willing to sign the warrant and took the application to magistrate Langa.

Panday said an hour later he and Khan (his witness) saw Bantham, Singh and Langa get into the doctor’s vehicle.

They then saw Singh call the doctor and overheard him say: “These ous are here from general Khana’s office and we are not going to sign any warrant and you must cover us with a parcel later”.

“I submit it is illegal if not highly irregular for him to have done so.”

Panday claims further that on June 3 he got an anonymous call from an Indian male telling him that there was an instruction by Dayanand, his wife, Bantham and Singh to have him “executed”.

He was told R1 million had been offered to the hitmen, put up by the doctor and his wife.

In response Singh said the matter was clearly an attempt to defame his good name and reputation and that he is in the process of charging Panday and Khan criminally.

“He [Panday] is a man of straw who has nothing to lose and continues with his malicious and defamatory conduct knowing there is no recourse against him.”

Singh said he recused himself from the search warrant application because it was “fraught with dishonesty, corruption and illegality.”

Dayanand said that he may bring a counter application against Panday as he could be the person attempting to extort R7 million from him.

He said he’d paid Panday R460 000 “not knowing his history and ulterior motives” to secure the purchase of a flat which Panday offered him for R4,8 million at the Pearls, Umhlanga.


Read more on:    visham panday  |  pietermaritzburg  |  court case

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