Diamond dealer takes fight to the state
Diamond dealer Louis Liebenberg and his company Tariomix have had their bank accounts containing approximately R100m provisionally frozen by an order of the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) following allegations of money laundering and of running a Ponzi scheme.
The NPA secured the provisional preservation order against bank accounts in the name of Liebenberg, his colleague Ronelle Kleynhans and Tariomix in March.
The order was granted in terms of section 39 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.
Liebenberg has since opposed the granting of the provisional order.
Arguments were heard earlier this month before in the Gauteng High Court and judgment has been reserved.
Liebenberg is a vocal critic of large mining ventures ؘ– what he terms the ‘big boys’ – and the role of the state, notes a Fin24 report.
‘I have been harassed since 2004, and I still have a clean criminal record,’ he is quoted as saying. ‘The whole idea of the state is to stop people like me mobilising ordinary people from standing together and do something to buy up mines and take on the big boys. Misuse of power and legislation,’ he said in a WhatsApp message.
The order granted to the NPA in March has since been modified by another ex parte provisional order granted to SARS.
This order, granted in late June under the Tax Administration Act, appointed a curator to take charge of the assets and attach documentation, notes Fin24.
As the sole director of Tariomix and Marauder House, Liebenberg has also been ordered to hand over all tax information to the curator, including books and records.
A lawyer for Liebenberg denied that there was anything wrong with his client's businesses model.
‘The NPA has no factual allegations against Mr Liebenberg and make sweeping statements of money laundering, operating a Ponzi scheme, racketeering, dealing in unpolished diamonds and transgressing the Bank and Credit Acts,’ said Walter Niedinger.
‘All these issues are being ventilated before courts and no criminal charges whatsoever have been forthcoming. The only way to test accusations are to have them heard in a court of law.’
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.