Demerara Mutual sues ex-employee for $40m

The Demerara Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited is suing a former employee for allegedly defrauding the company of over $40 million.

Zameel Shaheed of Ocean View, Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara, allegedly approved transactions amounting to over $40 million to persons who were not entitled to claims. In a Statement of Claim filed in the High Court and published in yesterday’s edition of Kaieteur News, Demerara Mutual, the claimant, sought to recover from Shaheed, the defendant, the sum of $40.5 million “being the total value of fictitious insurance claims which were (allegedly) fraudulently approved by the defendant and consequently paid by the claimant to persons with no legitimate health insurance claims.”

Demerara Mutual, represented by attorney Kamal Ramkarran, also asked for an injunction restraining Shaheed or his agents from transferring, mortgaging, encumbering or in any way disposing of any movable or immovable property held in his name until the hearing and determination of the substantive proceedings and, in the event of a judgment in favour of the claimants, until the judgment is paid in full. The court has granted an interim injunction in this regard.

Shaheed is reportedly overseas, and the court also granted an interim freezing order restraining him from removing from Guyana any assets owned by him in Guyana until the hearing and determination of the substantive proceedings and, in the event of a judgment in favour of the claimants, until the judgment is paid in full.

The company also asked for interest on the sum of $40.5 million at the rate of six per cent per annum to the date of payment as well as costs and any other relief as the court may deem just.

In the notice in yesterday’s Kaieteur News, the Deputy Registrar of the High Court said that if he desires to defend the action, Shaheed has 28 days after the final date of publication of the said notice to prepare a defence and file it with the claimant’s attorney as well as file it with proof of service at the Supreme Court Registry. The notice added that if this is not done, Shaheed will be deemed to have admitted the Statement of Claim and a default judgment may be entered against him.

The court also ordered Shaheed to provide information to the claimant about the location of all property and assets within 14 days of service of the aforesaid order on the defendant.

The hearing is fixed for April 1 before Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall.

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