The great-granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Ashish Lata Ramgobin, an accused in a six-million rand fraud and forgery case, was found guilty and sentenced to seven years in jail by a South African court at Durban on Monday (7 June).
Ramgobin was the founder and executive director of the Participative Development Initiative at the NGO International Centre for Non-Violence.
The 56-year-old Ramgobin, who is the daughter of noted rights activists Ela Gandhi and late Mewa Ramgobind, was accused of defrauding businessman SR Maharaj after he advanced South African rand (R) 6.2 million to her for allegedly clearing import and Customs duties for a non-existent consignment from India, reports Hindustan Times.
According to Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Lata Ramgobin provided forged invoices and documents to convince potential investors that three containers of linen were being shipped in from India.
"She said she was experiencing financial difficulties to pay for import costs and customs and she needed the money to clear the goods at the harbour," NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara said on Monday.
"She advised him (Maharaj) that she needed R6.2 million. To convince him, she showed him what she claimed was a signed purchase order for the goods. 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 imminent," the spokesperson said.
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