By Kuria Kimani
The Rai’s rank among Kenya’s wealthiest families owning properties and investments worth billions of shillings spread out across the country. Following the death of Tarlochan Singh Rai, the family’s patriarchal figure, his sons have now found themselves in courts fighting over the wealth he left behind.
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Tarlochan Singh Rai was married to Sarjij Kaur Rai with whom he sired five sons named Tejpal (deceased), Jaswant, Jasbir, Sarbjit, and Iqbal Rai and two daughters Hertej Ashwin Oza and Daljit Kaur Han. Tarlochan Rai had amassed a multi-billion shilling wealth portfolio with investments in various industries and close relations with the country’s ruling administrations. Jaswant Rai was left as his father’s will executor and chairman of the Rai Group.
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The Rai Group
The Rai family has established businesses in various industries including timber, horticulture, wheat farming, sugar, cement, edible oil and soaps, and in real estate. The empire has grown its presence in Malawi, London, India, and across East Africa. In the timber and sawmilling industry, The Rai Group runs RaiPly, Rai Produces Limited, Rai Investments Limited, Rai Holdings Limited, Timsales, Rai Ceramic Limited, and Webuye Panpaper. Other companies under the Rai Family include Menengai Oil Refineries, Kabras Sugar, and Tulip Properties.
Rai Family Family Feud
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After their father’s death, Jasbir and Iqbal Rai teamed up with their mother against their brother Jaswant who held the chairman position of the group. He was additionally named the executor of their father’s will which was written in 1999. The late Sarjij Rai and her two sons were of the opinion that the will had been written in coercion and did not represent the true picture of the patriarch wishes. Jaswant on the other hand defended his father’s will saying that it stipulated that all his eight beneficiaries would receive a rightful stake in his wealth.
The late Sarjij Raj and her two sons went to court to demand that her son Jaswant and the Group’s board of directors be compelled to reveal all the board minutes, asset listing, and their father’s will. This is because they believed that Jaswant had excluded some of the properties from the will leaving his siblings receiving less than they should have received. Most of the properties alleged to have been left out of the will are foreign companies and investments in which the late Tarlochan had shares. These include Cayman Islands situated Waterloo Ltd and Stonybrook Ltd, Jersey Island-based Rai Management and Technical Services Limited, and millions of dollars in London and New Delhi banks.the court determined that the will’s validity would first need to be established before any further action would be taken.
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