Mahatma Gandhi's kin faces Rs 5.4-crore fraud charges in South Africa

Ashish Lata Ramgobin, Gandhi’s great—granddaughter was arrested on October 15 for stealing $830,887 from two Durban-based businessmen

Johannesburg: A great-granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi is being tried in South Africa for defrauding two businessmen of $830,887 (approximately Rs 5.4 crore).


Ashish Lata Ramgobin. Pic/Facebook

Ashish Lata Ramgobin appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to the charge. The 45-year-old was released on $3,776 bail.

The Hawks Durban Organised Crime squad arrested Ramgobin on October 15 on charges of stealing $830,887 from two Durban-based businessmen.

A businessman named as S R Maharaj is said to have provided 6.2 million rands (Rs 3 crore) after being promised a large share in profits. Ramgobin had requested him for the amount, allegedly to clear import and customs duties for the non-existent consignment. A second unnamed businessman allegedly advanced 5.2 million rands (R2.5 crore) under similar pretences.

Ramgobin allegedly told the businessmen that she had won a tender to supply linen bedding to two hospitals in South Africa and requested money from them for clearing containers that carried the bedding.

An investigation uncovered that no such tender was ever advertised nor awarded. Later, the businessmen said the tender story was bogus and one of them complained to the cops accusing Ramgobin of using the capital for another purpose. While there was only one charge against her, the police are investigating the second complaint.

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