Home PodcastAshraf Garda Hello Darlings liquidated – Getting money back is tough but possible 

Hello Darlings liquidated – Getting money back is tough but possible 

by Luqmaan Rawat

Tasneem Moosa is said to be hiding in Dubai. So far almost R35million in claims have been made against her

Johannesburg – Hello Darlings has filed for liquidation. This comes weeks after Tasneem Moosa, the travel agency’s CEO, declared in a statement and subsequent interview. It is now up to the liquidators in charge to see what they can get back. 

Dubbed the ‘Holiday Swindler’, Moosa is still in hiding, while those who have paid for unfulfilled trips have opened cases with the police. Almost 400 cases of theft and fraud and one civil case have been opened. The liquidation application was filed by Moosa and not by one of her former clients. The reason for this, said Fazlul Sulaiman, the liquidator who has been put on the case, is it carries a significant fee to file.  

“A liquidation application can take place in two ways. Your creditors can go to court to apply for your liquidation. You normally liquidate a company and you would sequestrate a person. Nobody was willing to bring this application because nobody was prepared to pay the money … She brought on what we call a voluntary liquidation.” 

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Hello Darlings’ bank statements

Sulaiman noted that Moosa has appointed a company to do a forensic investigation of her affairs to dispel rumours that she stole money from anyone. There are also rumours circulating that she has property in Turkey, Bahrain, and Dubai. Her bank statements will also be investigated by Sulaiman and his team. 

“We’ve got two years of her personal FNB bank statements by chance. We have now applied and we have written to all the major banks to say all debits must stop. But all credits can come into the account, I think personally, from the little bit that we know, at the moment we will see some money. Not a lot, but we will see some money. The difficulty we have is we need to interview Tasneem. We don’t know where she is and obviously there is a lot of assets, and a lot of funding that has been happening outside the country. We need our courts to give us permission to go to Dubai and then we need the Dubai courts to give us permission to dig into her affairs and the company’s affairs.”  

Since Tasneem has filed for liquidation, it will be illegal for anyone to approach her for their money or for her to pay anyone their refund. According to Sulaiman, not only can this not happen but he has the power to reverse transactions that occurred two years ago.   

“One thing that came to light on the Telegram group, there was a lady who said she borrowed her R200 000 and she was getting a return of R20 000 a month … She and her mother were receiving a 10% return. Ten percent a month, when prime is 7%, and if you invest your money in a call account you earn 3% per annum. Ten percent a month equates to 120% per annum. All those transactions need to be reversed. I still believe that we would recover at least 20, 30, 40 cents to the rand hypothetically.”  

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Claims might not be paid back in full

Clients should not hold their breath. They will not receive anything close to the amount they paid. Additionally, the bank statements need to be analysed to ensure that it was not a ponzi scheme, said Sulaiman. 

“If she was paying people 10% interest a month it equates to 120% annum, it would amount to a ponzi scheme. All those monies need to be reversed. All those monies need to come back into the pool and then be redistributed proportionately. Everything happens proportionately.”   

The liquidators fees are set at 6% of what they recover and 10% if they sell Hello Darlings which Sulaiman believes is impossible considering the current negative connotation that surrounds the name. Sulaiman emphasized that he has no say in how much he gets paid. That is set by the Master.  

“Our fees are set by the Master. If we do extra work, ask for special fees, it is set by the Master. I can’t write a check for R100 000. I can apply to the Master and say I flew to Turkey and repossessed two properties worth a quarter of a million rand. It’s fair that I get R50 000. Master will say no that it’s only worth R20 000. So I work for my money.”  

The task of tying things up is only made harder by Moosa evading police, but Sulaiman believes with the multiple agencies looking for her and with modern technology on their side, she can not remain hidden for long.   

Businesses associated with her should also be careful warned Sulaiman. He will be looking very carefully at the bank statements to ascertain if any monies were being siphoned out of Hello Darlings to another company for safe keeping.  

“If she was associated with company A, B, C, X, Y and Z and we see there’s a lot of funds moving between these companies, which had nothing to do with the travel industry, we can lift the corporate veil and apply to court to liquidate these companies because we think they are party to hiding the money.”  

The order was put in last week, Sulaiman and his team are sifting through the information. It will be quite some time before everything is wrapped up but he is confident there will be justice and money will eventually get distributed to those who have lost it.  Listen to the interview with Sulaiman on the Ashraf Garda Show here.

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