Mahatma Gandhi’s great-granddaughter jailed for fraud in South Africa

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JOHANNESBURG – A court in South Africa has sentenced a 56-year-old great-granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi in a fraud and forgery case.

Ashish Lata Ramgobin, the daughter of rights activist Ela Gandhi and late Mewa Ramgobind, was found guilty in the case involving six-million rand by Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Monday.

A report published by Indian media said that the grander daughter of Gandhi was accused of defrauding business tycoon SR Maharaj gave R6.2 million to her for allegedly clearing import and Customs duties for a non-existent consignment from India. He was also promised a share of profits by Ashish Lata.

As per the verdict, she was also refused leave to appeal both the conviction and the sentence by the court.

In 2015, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had accused Lata Ramgobin of providing forged invoices and documents to convince potential investors that three containers of linen were being shipped in from India, zeenews.india reported.

At that time, she was released on a bail of 50,000 rand.

During Monday’s hearing, the court was that Lata Ramgobin had met Maharaj, who runs the New Africa Alliance Footwear Distributors, in August 2015 when she told him that she had imported three containers of linen from India but she needed to money to clear the consignment.

In order to convince the businessman, she showed him forged invoices of the consignment, which did not exist.

After giving payment to Ramgobin, he found the documents forged. Then he filed criminal case against her.