The great grand-daughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Ashish Lata Ramgobin (56), was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for fraud, forgery and uttering to the amount of R6,2 million.
Ramgobin is the daughter of struggle activist and former Member of Parliament, Ela Gandhi, who is the granddaughter of Mahatma.
Ramgobin was sentenced at the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court last week.
KZN National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Kara said Ramgobin scammed the director of New Africa Alliance Footwear Distributors of R6,5 million in 2015.
The company is an importer, manufacturer and wholesaler of clothing, linen and footwear.
“In August 2015, Ramgobin met with Maharaj, the director of NAAFD. She told him that she (via her company, Global Services) had imported three containers of linen for the Netcare group,” said Kara.
“She was experiencing financial difficulties to pay for import costs and customs and she needed the money to clear the goods at the harbour. She advised him that she needed R6.2 million. To convince him, she showed him what claimed to be a signed purchase order for the goods.”
Kara said in return for the loan, Ramgobin promised to pay back the total amount and give him a share of the profits, amounting to R1.5 million.
Maharaj agreed to lend her the money and they entered into a written agreement where he paid her two instalments of R1.3 million each.
“Later that month, she sent him what seemed to be a Netcare invoice and delivery note as proof that the goods were delivered and payment was eminent. She further sent him confirmation from Netcare’s bank account that payment had been made,” said Kara.
However, Maharaj soon discovered that Ramgobin did not have any purchase order with Netcare, nor did Netcare owe her any money.
It was later revealed in the case that Netcare had no dealings with Ramgobin in this regard and that all the documents were forged.