LIBERIA: Fugitive Indian Business Executive Finally Extradited

At long last an Indian national, Suni Kakkad a resident of Paynesville who has been kept under compulsory house for over a week was quietly extradited to his home country India over the weekend amid an ongoing court case in Liberia, prompting protest from a lawyer.

The Liberian National Police had kept Sunil Kakkad's ELWA residence under heavy Police guard for over a week preventing him and his family movement before he was transferred to his home country India.

Before his transfer, the Indian was facing trial in Liberia with lawyers representing his legal interest in filing a writ of Habeas Corpus against the Liberian National Police, the Ministry of Justice to make the living body of the Indian available.

Judge Blamo Dixon issued a writ of compulsory habeas corpus against the Liberian National Police and the Ministry of Justice but while the trail was ongoing, the Liberian National Police said it received a red alert from Interpol requesting the transfer of the Indian to his country to answer complaint filed by a Haryana-based dealer to SIS, the company once operated by Kakkad for cheating of Rs 1.10 crore when his company failed to pay the dues and allegation from the Industrial Finance branch of State Bank of India (SBI) which alleged that Kakkad's company mortgaged the same assets to more than one institution.

Atty. Swahilo Sesay one of the lawyers representing Kakkad told reporters in Monrovia Monday that his client was held under house arrest by a group of Police officers from the Police Support Unit (PSU) at the Liberia National Police who stormed the home of the defendant and took him to the airport where he was extradited to India.

"As I speak to you now the defendant had been deported and now his home has been surrounded by officers of the Police Support Unit "said Atty. Sesay.

Managing director and chairman of IT firm- Sai Infosystem (Pvt) Ltd, Sunil Kakkad, the wanted man was arrested by Ahmedabad Police

Atty. Sesay further stated that the action of the Police to deport Kakkad in the wake of his trial in Liberia was a complete disrespect to the court that is hearing the case, adding that even if the Indian had killed there is a need for him to have due process as required by law.

Sesay informed FrontPage Africa that before the deportation of the Indian national his legal team had earlier filed a writ of prohibition to the Supreme Court before Justice in Chamber Jamesetta Wolokollie of any action against him pending hearing into his arrest, but while the team was awaiting the hearing the Police ignored the work of the high court and chose to deport the defendant.

According to Sesay hearing into the matter was scheduled for Monday, but Solicitor General Betty Larmie Blamo had asked the high court to give up to today (Tuesday) in order to review the case as she had just returned from a trip outside the country. Despite the deportation of the Indian national Sesay stated that the high court through Associate Justice Wolokollie will proceed with hearing into the matter as planned to be followed by a determination.

Following his arrest and interrogation by the LNP Kakkad made a brief court appearance at the Criminal Court "B" at the Temple Justice presided over by Judge Blamo Dixon after his lawyers had filed a writ of habeas corpus requesting the LNP to report his living body last week.

News outlets in India greeted Kakkad's deportation with relief following his arrival at the Ahmedabad Crime Branch in India Monday. The fugitive chairman and managing director of IT firm- Sai Infosystem (Pvt) Ltd was flown out of Liberia into Ahmedabad early on Monday. Kakkad was on the run after cheating 1400 employees of his company without paying salaries and arrears and siphoned off nearly Rs. 40 crores to other privately owned companies.

Kakkad was arrested at the Liberia airport last week due to an Interpol notice issued against him. He was wanted in the city for two cheating cases in addition to other complaints of several banks in Ahmedabad that gave loans to Kakkad for business projects. The CID (Crime) team of State Police had received information from Liberia that Kakkad had tried to board a flight and he was arrested by the airport authorities. The CID had formed a team of the crime branch officers to go to Liberia to take Kakkad's custody.

Kakkad was flown into India on Qatar Airways where he allegedly created ruckus with the crime branch officials. When the aircraft halted at Casablanca airport at Morocco, Kakkad began shouting and screaming that left the airport authorities intervene and ask crime branch officials and Kakkad to get off, according to the Financial Express of India.

However, when the senior authorities from the crime branch spoke to the Qatar Airways, the team was allowed to board the flight back to bring him to Ahmedabad. Kakkad was 'missing' from June 18, 2013 with his family after duping 1400 employees of his company without paying them salaries for nine months and other arrears.

Two senior employees of SIS, then Associate Vice President Amit Mathur and then senior Vice President Sangeet Nigam had given written complaints to the Ahemdabad Crime Branch charging Kakkad and his brother Sameer Kakkad, then Director Prem Behl and Bageshree Bhupen Savani, then PA to the CMD.

Later, a Haryana-based dealer to SIS had registered a complaint for cheating of Rs 1.10 crore when the company failed to pay the dues. Moreover, the company also faced cheating allegation from the Industrial Finance branch of the State Bank of India (SBI) which alleged that the company mortgaged the same assets to more than one institution.

According to Police, Kakkad had taken loans worth Rs 794.32 crore from SBI, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, IDBI, Bank of Baroda, Corporation Bank and Allahabad Bank for the flagship company, Rs 97 crore for Attrium Corporation and Rs 144 crore for Click Trekkon.

The Police said that before absconding from the country, Kakkad "transferred" around Rs 27.83 crore, from Sai Info account with State Bank of India, Ahmedabad, to his various group companies named Tanya, Swan, Power Info, Cameo, and Blue Eye. He had also transferred Rs 10 crore from his another group company, Click Telecom Pvt Ltd, to a third group company Power Info and Rs. 2 crore from the account of his other group company Atrium InfoComm Pvt Ltd, to Power Info-Control & Services Pvt Ltd.

The Police further said that the complainants had informed that Kakkad set up SIS Global (USA), INC in Oak Brook, Illinois, SIS Global (FZE) in the UAE and Kompac Technologies Ltd in Hong Kong. The complainants had told Police that Kakkad had given 'fabricated' balance sheets for the last two fiscal years to reflect huge profits and to cheat the employees, bankers and government-owned companies".

Kakkad, an electronics and communications engineer had set up the company in 1992 that grew to be the biggest ICT solutions providers. The company was said to be at the peak of its revenue in Rs. 1500 crores in 2010-11 and started facing the crunch in August 2012.

Kakkad is one of many individuals who commit crimes in their home country and find safe haven on Liberian soil. Ed Fisher, an American businessman who was sentenced to 41 months in prison on tax fraud violations in America in October 2009, somehow found his way into doing business in Liberia. While in hiding in Liberia, Fisher's company, International Construction Engineers (ICE) found itself in the red and accruing huge debt to a number of businesses in Liberia including Sethi Brothers, MOTC and Aurelius Mining.

Another fugitive Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik before he detonated a 2,100-pound bomb in the Norwegian Government Quarter in the heart of Oslo, killing eight people, before shooting and killing 69 people at Utøya, a small island 25 miles from the capital, Breivik claimed in his trial manifesto that he spent some time in Liberia where he allegedly met a Serb war hero in 2002.

Contrary to Breivik's allegation that his trip to Liberia, represented a key event in his radicalization process, the prosecutor introduced evidence suggesting that the trip was in fact a misguided attempt on Breivik's behalf to set up a blood diamond trading company. To support this argument, the prosecution conducted a video-link interview in court with one of Breivik's contacts in Liberia, who said Breivik appeared genuinely interested in diamonds.

Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison after a court declared he was "criminally sane" and guilty on August 24. The judicial process has produced a wealth of new information about the man behind the worst atrocities in Norway since World War II and supports four key conclusions.

Earlier this year, Liberia was once again in the headlines when Tobias Bowen, the head of Redemption Hospital, was picked up in London and extradited back to the U.S. where he was wanted after being charged with having repeated sexual contact with a child, as well as statutory rape and criminal sex act. Bowen escaped the U.S. before the case went to trial.

To date, it is unclear how Bowen worked his way into the system unnoticed despite a warrant for his arrest where the alleged incident took place in Syracuse, New York. The Onondaga County District Attorney's Office prosecutors sought a bail of $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond in 2010, nine times more than what Bowen posted before he escaped. Bowen was given bail of $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond, but Bowen's Liberian passport was never confiscated, the prosecutor said.
Credit FPA

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