The NPA has hit back at international diamond dealer Sylla Moussa following his letter of demand claiming the authority has cost him R3.1bn in financial damage to his business.

A Times Select report notes Moussa was initially charged with defrauding Absa bank out of R40m in 2006, although his criminal trial has yet to continue 13 years later.

The long delay in the case culminated in Moussa writing a letter of demand to the NPA in August, saying its refusal to relax his bail conditions and allow him to travel overseas for business purposes had ultimately cost him R3.1bn – and that the state must reimburse him for his losses.

At the heart of Moussa’s gripe is the state’s refusal to allow him to travel to Geneva this week for a court case involving a pink diamond said to be worth R1.1bn.

Moussa is suing Swiss storage company Malca-Amit for handing over ‘his’ diamond to Johannesburg businessman Zunaid Moti.

Moussa claims Moti used false papers to get the diamond, which the latter has repeatedly denied.

The company also refuted this, claiming Moussa ‘relinquished possession and ownership of the diamond to his creditor’ after he defaulted on a debt.

Moussa says the state’s refusal to allow him to travel to Switzerland has ‘severely jeopardised’ his lawsuit.

He claims the charges against him have also cost him an additional R2bn in lost business.

Full Times Select report (subscription needed)