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Dubious investments backfire



MASERU – A GROUP of 100 Basotho have filed an urgent joint application at the High Court seeking an order to have monies they invested in a local company frozen.
In their court papers, the applicants argue that Simplified Forex Trading Company has defrauded them money amounting to over M5.8 million.
The matter is before Commercial Court judge, Justice Lebohang Molete.

They told the court that they were to deposit a monthly fee of M220 into First National Bank accounts of Khotso Mahonko and Realeboha Mosola who were both directors of the company.
And the company would in turn invest the funds with investors getting a massive 70 percent profit.
A Memorandum of Understanding which was to be signed by every member said the trade would run for a month after which a further agreement would be reached with each client in terms of whether to re-invest the capital amount and profits or not.

When entering into the agreement with the company, the applicants were aware that it was liable to make losses though the respondents had promised to minimise such losses by all means possible while also undertaking to increase the profitability of the invested monies by all means possible.
They say they were encouraged by such a promise and they invested more.

The applicants allege in their court papers that after a month of trading the company is now refusing to honour the agreement.
Simplified Forex then called a meeting on August 2, 2018 for depositors.
Mahonko said the company told them that contrary to the contests of the Forex MOU entered into between parties they would get only 20 percent of the capital amount and not 70 percent as initially promised.

This simply means that their funds had been diminished, they were no longer going to get their capital and accruing profits.
“While I am of the view that this was not a pyramid scheme, I virtually together with the rest of the applicants found it necessary to deposit our funds there in Forex with no hindrance but it would be incumbent upon the company itself and two directors to eat our monies (sic).

“Upon making this application, I am sure that the two directors are working hard to diminish the funds held with FNB Lesotho and were either seeking to transfer the said funds into an account in South Africa wherein it would be very difficult for me and the rest of the applicants to know of their whereabouts hence praying for the freezing of the account held by FNB Lesotho in the interim,” Monaheng said.

Monaheng said they were unaware of the chicanery by Forex.
thepost read the MOU and found it was stipulated that trading will take 30 percent of the profits while the client takes 70 percent of the profits at the end of every month of the trading.
One of the applicants, Moahloli Motjotjobela, told the court that in the meeting held on the 2 August 2018 at AME Hall, Forex were already saying the funds held with them would not be sufficient for the general public without outlaying the account and the overall amount held in that account.\

In one of the replying affidavits, Relebohile Mosala, who is a Forex Director, denied that Simplified Forex was registered for the purpose of defrauding members of the public as alleged by deponents.

“I deny the insinuation that a turnover of 70 percent profit was ever promised. I deny that Motlatsi Motsoahae being one of the applicants had invested the sum of M40 000.00 like he is saying.
“For completeness I deny all the allegations made to the extent that they are with variance with what I have stated,” Mosala said.
Mosala said the contract concluded between some members of the public and Simplified Forex duly represented by its functionaries were legitimate and legally binding agreement and losses in the course of trading were anticipated.

“Consequently the losses suffered during the June/July 2018 trading period did not render the agreement entered between Simplified Forex and its said clients unlawful,” he said.
He said he is denying that all the facts deposed to in by applicants are true and correct as some cannot be true as he has illustrated.
“I am denying the allegations made and ask for the application to be dismissed with costs,” he said.
Monaheng is owed M511 122, Rethabile Letsoela over M3 million, Rethabile Letsoela M10 000, Motlatsi Motsoahae is owed M701 250.

Senate Sekotlo

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