Kin of British seaman to be paid for EABL shares
Identify assets“On the passing away of his, and his sister’s, father, Nicholas began the process of identifying assets of the deceased. On perusing the deceased’s documents, he and his sister found out that the deceased was an owner of EABL shares, amongst others,” court documents show. It was at this point that the siblings reached out to Nairobi-based Custody and Registrars Services Limited, which was in charge of record-keeping for the brewer. The firm informed Nicholas that his father’s shares had been immobilised and subsequently sold in 2007. Until 2012, share certificates existed in hard copy before the directive to digitise, which ensured that their owners could have them in the same way money is held in bank accounts, in the conversion technically known as immobilisation. But it is how the fraud was executed that puzzled the judge, and possibly pointed to a much wider societal problem in corruption within government offices. Williams, who lived in Mombasa after retiring from the Navy as a decorated officer, used his British passport as his official identification including when purchasing the EABL shares. Williams would retire back home in Hampshire in 1975 while aged 55, and only travelled back to Kenya twice, court documents show. It was, however, discovered that a forged Kenyan passport with his exact names but with October 10, 1947 as the date of birth, was used to immobilise his shares. The impostor, who is yet to be identified, even set up a fake email address: [email protected]. “There are several discrepancies between the deceased shareholder’s passport forwarded to us by Nicholas and the forged passport forwarded by the person who immobilised the shares,” Custody and Registrars pleaded in court. But Justice Kasango found the two firms to have been negligent in dealing with their client’s asset. She, however, said there was no proof that they colluded to disinherit Williams. “What was proved is that the defendants by their acts or omissions acted negligently in the immobilisation and eventual sale of the deceased’s EABL shares,” reads the ruling.
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