English Point Marina: Ksh5 Billion Hotel Co-Owned By ‘Untrained Lawyer’ Who Pocketed Millions In Legal Fees

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English Point Marina: Ksh5 Billion Hotel Co-Owned By 'Untrained Lawyer' Who Pocketed Millions In Legal Fees
File image of the English Point Marina. |Courtesy| Business Daily|

English Point Marina is a five-star hotel located along Nyali Beach, overlooking Old Town and the Old Port in Mombasa County. The multi-billion hospitality establishment is owned by Amin Kanji, his wife Leila, brother Alnoor, sister-in-law Nafisa and Nazir Bhaduralli Nurmohammed Jinnah.

The property which is worth over Ksh5 billion boasts 96 apartments, eight penthouses and a 26-room hotel. According to a report by Buisness Daily, English Point Marina is among the few private entities in the country that were granted the Vision 2030 Private Sector Flagship status.

Facilities include a boutique hotel with rooms and suites, conference facilities, a luxury spa and well equipped gym, boardwalk with waterfront restaurants, an infinity swimming pool and pool bar. An inner and outer pier venue ideal for events including cocktail parties and weddings.

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English Point Marina seizure

KCB bank has seized English Point Marina for the second time over a Ksh5.2 billion debt. The court had been blocked by the court from initially seizing the property.

This is after the Court of Appeal reversed orders by High Court judge Justice Dora Chepkwony, blocking KCB Group’s appointed receiver-manager Kamal Anatroy Bhatt from taking over English Point Marina.

“We hereby give our decision granting the Notice of Motion dated July 22, 2022 and issue an order staying the ruling and orders of the Lady Justice Dorah Chepkwony delivered on July 12, 2022, and stay any further proceedings in High Court Commercial Court, Case No. E201 of 2022, Pearl Beach Hotel Limited vs KCB Limited & Kamal Anantory Bhatt, pending the hearing and determination of the applicants’ intended appeal,” the three bench Appeals court judges said.

The court further stated that it shall give the reasons for the decision on the October 14, 2022.

Court papers indicate that KCB gave loans to the firm between 2011 and 2018 and charged the English Point Marina. The hotel has been servicing the loan and enjoyed a moratorium that lapsed in June 2020. So far, the firm has paid Ksh3.3 billion.

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KCB took over English Point Marina after it had tried to restructure the loan but the owners were still unable to meet the payments. They placed it under receivership with the aim of selling it to offset the money its owed.

English Point Marina: Ksh5 Billion Hotel Co-Owned By 'Untrained Lawyer' Who Pocketed Millions In Legal Fees
File image of the English Point Marina. |Courtesy| Business Daily|

‘Fraud Owner’

In March 2022, it emerged that one of the owners, Nazir Bhaduralli Nurmohammed Jinnah, had pocketed millions in legal fees and boasted one of the most impressive work profiles as a lawyer despite being untrained.

Over the years, Jinnah worked as a lawyer for some of the top law firms in Kenya and across the world including Khaminwa & Khaminwa Advocates and MMC-Asafo, Conrad Law & Consultancy in Nairobi, Piper May Solicitors in the UK and Mussolini & Dessel in the US. His resume put him ahead of most Kenyan lawyers and earned him some of the most high profile clients in Kenya.

Despite having a profile that some of the top advocates in the country couldn’t match, findings by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) sent shockwaves across the legal fraternity. The investigative arm established that Jinnah has no formal legal training and preferred impersonation charges against him.

Investigations by the DCI revealed that Jinnah had for years presented to his clients fake credentials, purporting to work for some of the top law firms in the country.

In one instance, Jinnah is said to have represented Harbans Singh Birdi and Shirin Akberali Jiwa, the directors of Farhana Properties Limited, a real estate firm that had agreed to sell a house in Mombasa to Aharub Khatri for Ksh50.54 million.

When Ms Jiwa appointed Jinnah as her lawyer, he had claimed to be a legal consultant and partner at Khaminwa & Khaminwa Advocates, one of Kenya’s top law firms, headed by Senior Counsel John Khaminwa.

The land buyer was to pay Ksh48.5 million to a trustee, Mr Manoj Shah, who would hold the funds for 90 days before sending half to Mr Birdi and the rest to Ms Jiwa. The money was paid in three instalments – three in cash and one bank transfer from the buyer’s lawyers Anjarwalla & Khanna. However, along the way, Jinnah managed to convince Anjarwalla & Khanna that he was also a representative of Mr Birdi.

Anjarwalla & Khanna Advocates wired the final installment to Jinnah’s “client” account. Farhana Properties was to expected to make Ksh44 million after expenses, placing Mr Birdi’s share at Ksh22 million. However, the businessman lost Sh17 million, which he claims Jinnah pocketed through his “client” account.

In yet another business deal, Birdi lost ksh2.8 million in a land sale deal after Jinnah had offered to help him sell a piece of land in Embakasi. The buyer agreed to pay Ksh25 million. But the Embakasi land had been invaded by squatters, and Jinnah asked for Ksh2.8 million to help evict the squatters. The buyer refused to part with any additional costs and cancelled the deal.

English Point Marina: Ksh5 Billion Hotel Co-Owned By 'Untrained Lawyer' Who Pocketed Millions In Legal Fees
File image of the English Point Marina. |Courtesy| Business Daily|

Birdi had already paid Jinnah Ksh2.8 million. The legal fees brewed a storm resulting in a court case where Jinnah was outed as a quark lawyer.

According to a report by Business Daily, Jinnah allegedly forged Khaminwa & Khaminwa Advocates’ letterhead, and replaced the law firm’s official phone numbers with his. The new document presented him as a legal consultant with operations in Nairobi, London, Washington D.C., and Toronto. It also purported that he is as an expert in family, constitutional, criminal, civil, and commercial law.

Jinnah’s LinkedIn profile claims that he is a legal consultant for MMC-Asafo, one of the country’s top law firms, and has been there for four years. Smart Business established that Jinnah has never been an employee of MMC-Asafo, and only spent less than a month at the law firm on probation while seeking employment as a business development director.

The profile further indicates that he is a director in charge of business development at Conrad Law & Consultancy.

Jinnah’s profile further indicates that he has worked as a high-ranking officer for multinational companies including Synergy World Limited, Kartier Group of Companies International LLC, and Oil Barell Limited. He claims to have been the CEO at Oil Barell between 2010 and 2016.

 

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