A court bailiff failed to execute an arrest warrant against businessperson Vinod Sekhar in relation to a civil forfeiture case.
According to lawyer Colin Pereira, who is representing Irish national John Slattery in his US$108,000 (RM449,000) suit against the Petra Group chairperson, the bailiff went to Vinod’s house in Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur, this morning.
“Neither the judgment debtor nor his family was at home when the bailiff arrived to arrest him.
“The security guard was unable to confirm where they were. The judgment debtor’s Facebook seems to suggest that he is in London,” he said in a statement.
Pereira also sent Malaysiakini a screenshot of Vinod’s Facebook post on Sept 10, which shows his location as in London.
He claimed that attempts to contact Vinod on his mobile phone proved futile. Messages sent were read but there was no response.
It was reported that Slattery sued Vinod to claim the US$108,000 which he had paid the businessperson in 2017 as an investment into Green Rubber Sdn Bhd.
The court made a judgment in default, awarding the amount to Slattery on June 11 following Vinod’s failure to appear before the court.
Slattery’s lawyers then secured a writ of seizure from the court after Vinod failed to respond to the court judgment, which led to the bailiff raiding his house on Aug 7 and seizing items estimated to be worth RM150,000.
The seized properties were scheduled to go for public auction yesterday but was halted after Vinod’s wife obtained a temporary stay from the court to file her claim over the items.
Pereira said if it is true that Vinod is overseas, this would be a surprise as he should not have been allowed to leave Malaysia.
He said two letters were sent to the Immigration Department last month informing them that the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court had issued an arrest warrant against Vinod.
“If the judgment debtor is in fact overseas, then my client is indeed surprised to learn that he was allowed to leave the country despite the immigration authorities being informed that a warrant of arrest had been issued against him.
“My client has asked me to seek clarification again from the immigration authorities and to raise the matter up with MACC, if necessary.
“We have also sought clarification from the director-general of the Insolvency Department on whether the judgment debtor, as a bankrupt, obtained consent to leave the country as required by Section 38 of the Insolvency Act,” he added.
Meanwhile, Vinod told Malaysiakini that he had “no idea” about the arrest warrant.
“This is obviously at the request of the plaintiff. I am not in Kuala Lumpur but will ask my lawyers to address this,” he said, but did not respond to a question if he was in London.
The response was in contrast to Pereira’s claim that the businessperson had been made aware much earlier that there was an arrest warrant against him and that he should surrender to court.
Vinod also denied that items were seized from his residence, claiming that the court had granted a stay against the writ to seize.
“I have instructed my lawyers to take the necessary action and will be addressing this matter legally and will take the necessary action,” he said in a statement.
Vinod claimed that Slattery invested in his company on the latter’s own request and that the Irish national was then offered positions to market the company for a salary.
“He did not perform. Disputes arose between the parties and it was under negotiation and mediation by representatives of the company.
“Whilst I was away and hospitalised, he had escalated this to a court matter and obtained a judgement in default ex-parte.
“When we were made aware, we started renegotiations as advised by my lawyers. Once again, while I am away, he has obtained a writ of seizure ex-parte and is escalating the matter,” he added. – Malaysiakini