Boardroom wars coupled with family feuds are threatening to bring down the troubled Victoria Commercial Bank Limited associated with Asian businessmen.
So serious are the family and boardroom wars that the Pattni family members have decided to wash their dirty linen in public.
The midsized commercial bank with its offices in Upper Hill has been on the spotlight over claims of money laundering and racism perpetrated by the majority Asian managers.
Victoria Commercial Bank was opened with Goldenberg scandal monies as Kanji Damji Pattni was highly linked to the saga as per the Goldenberg reports.
Kanji Damji Pattni is a cousin of Goldenberg scandal mastermind Kamlesh Pattni and was the same individual who used to bribe authorities to open Kamlesh’s companies.
According to close associates of Kanji Damji Pattni, Kamlesh Pattni’s wife Minal Pattni and her mother, Anjana Morarji used to frequent Victoria Commercial Bank founder’s house.
In 2003, during an inquiry on Goldenberg scandal, Kanji Pattni was immensely mentioned as the courier to Kamlesh Pattni, revealing how he made money to open a bank just after the scandal.
It was suspected that Kamlesh Pattni was the faceless owner of the Victoria Commercial Bank before he fell out with Kanji.
Kanji is the father of Victoria Commercial Bank chief executive Yogesh Pattni who is at the centre of a messy divorce case that has sucked in the institution’s management. It is said Kamlesh Pattni is leaking information in public.
During the Justice Samuel Bosire Goldenberg Commission of Inquiry, Pattni indicated that Sh10 million a month would go to his cousin, Kanji Damji so he could pay “the authorities” to obtain the licence.
But Kanji later fell out with Pattni and there were claims he used his contacts to make sure Kamlesh spent a long time in prison but the latter was eventually set free.
Victoria Commercial Bank, which in July 2002 relocated its premises to the current offices at Victoria Towers, where it operates as a medium size corporate bank with over 72 staff, is now on the spot over skewed hiring where Asians are favoured and also given hefty packages as compared to their African counterparts.
In the 2012, the bank changed from a private company to a public company (unlisted) to pave way for the rights issue and private p l a c e m e n t offer in order to increase the share capital as well as have a broader s h a r e h o l d e r base but the management remains largely compose of Asians.
There are claims that during the 2017 election year, internal b o r r o w i n g and money l a u n d e r i n g due to fear of political crisis took centre stage, with the bank recording a loss.
It is on these grounds, filings for the trading of the six months to June 2017 showed that gross non-p e r f o r m i n g loans and advances to c u s t o m e r s moved from zero to Sh18.4 million, making it historic for the bank that had enjoyed an excellent credit history for over 10 years.
Now on the spot is the bank’s board chair Ketaki Sheth who has been a director since 2002.
Sheth who is also a director of Oakhurst Investments Limited, Pannache Properties Limited, Tosica Limited, Women Corporate Directors – Kenya chapter, Impact East Africa and a Trustee of Victoria Commercial Bank Charitable Trust, is accused of turning a blind eye to claims of racism at the bank.
Others on the spot include the chief executive Yogesh Pattni, who sits on the board alongside non-executive directors Sylvano Kola and Mahesh Acharya. Kola is the only African on the board.
The bank’s management comprises Pattni (CEO), Manish Parmar, director business development, Nitin Jethwa, director operations, Dharmesh Vaya general manager, Azmina Pattni head of liability relationships, Poonam Shah, head of credit relationships and the other only African, Hezron Kamau, head of finance.
Other managers are Karima Jamal, head of quality assurance, Eunice Monzi, head of trade finance, Daniel Kabuku, internal auditor, Mitesh Chouhan, head of credit administration, Mukund Patel, senior manager, Misalpesh Parmar, senior manager, Fiddelice Otwani, manager, human resources and administration, Masibo Abdullahi, head of compliance, Ruth Muasya, manager legal affairs and Charles Karanja, projects manager.
There are claims the Asian managers conduct meetings in their vernacular despising African employees.
Further reports indicate that the Central Bank of Kenya has been investigating the parallel bank after receiving complaints that some depositors have not been repaid.
But what is denting the image of the bank is the CEO’s messy divorce case. Yogesh was for long married to Shilpa Pattni, a woman brought up in an ordinary family in Mombasa.
She married the CEP at a young age and supported him for many years by looking after his parents and taking care of their adopted children.
But the CEP abandoned her and started cohabiting with a worker identified as Azmina Janmohamed.
After the divorce Shilpa Pattni continued to raise her two adopted children, Suraj and Sonia.
According to sources, a man identified as Bipin together with Jayshree Mawjee are close associates of Ali Punjani, the notorious drug dealer and are believed to be signatories of bank accounts used by him to launder man.
They were neighbors for many years before buying out the development together.
Bipin’s older sister, Indira is married to Yogesh’s older brother, Arvind Pattni and they live in Perth Australia.
The vicious family wars have seen a former secretary now married Yogesh featuring.
Kanji Damji Pattni, the founder on the other side is accused of befriending Azmina, his son Yogesh’s new wife, before her marriage to Yogesh.
Kanji Damji Pattni, Founder Victoria Bank
Azima wanted to marry Yogesh’s father while working as a personal assistant sucking in Shilpa.
Yogesh move to adopt Sonia and Suraj while married to Shilpa has also been at centre of discussions. He visited many fertility clinics in Europe and the USA all to no avail.
Azmina and Kanji relationship hit rocks but got married tohis son Yogesh Pattni (the managing director).To complicate matters it is now emerging the bank is financially unsound and Central Bank of Kenya is worried of its operations just like the teachers’ bank Saphire.
Left to right: Yogesh Pattni, Azmina Pattni, Jayshree Mawjee of Travellers Forex Bureau The Mall Westlands and Karen. Bipin and Jayshree Mawjee linked to money-laundering.
They had an affair for many years before Shilpa found out. Jayshree Mawjee was Shilpa’s best friend at the time and helped convince Shilpa to divorce Yogesh. Yogesh and Azmina married and miraculously Aryan was born. Miracles do not happen although we all wish they did. How on earth did an infertile man, all of a sudden, produce an heir?
A man who went to incredible lengths to cure his infertility and finally gave up his efforts to adopt two children from India, Suraj and Sonia. Rumour has it that Aryan, is the love child of Kanji and Azmina which means Yogesh is not raising a son but a half brother.