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Mombasa Tycoon Tahir Sheikh Said (TSS) dies a broken hearted man

By The Standard | Wednesday, Jan 11th 2017 at 08:04

Yesterday, the family displayed unity in his death. Two of the sons, Sabir and Sheikh Noorein, have been fighting for control of the transport segment of two firms, Transmara Logistics Ltd and TSS Pop In Service Stations, in which their father is the main shareholder.

Bad debts

According to a 2014 Wealth in Kenya report, TSS was listed as one of the largest land owners in the country. However, in the recent past, he was in the limelight for incurring bad debts running into billions of shillings.

Kenya's biggest bank by capitalisation, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), last year took over a milling company owned by TSS after it cited his default on a Sh1 billion loan.

In May last year, the bank, which had in excess of Sh1 billion non-performing loans with TSS Unga Millers, issued a notice indicating that it had taken over management of the miller. TSS had defaulted on loans in excess of Sh2.7 billion associated with the miller.

The businessman is said to have Sh8 billion in total non-performing loans with a number of banks, booked under other subsidiaries in his business empire.

His misfortunes worsened when the Jubilee government cancelled title deeds to large tracts of land in Lamu, which he had used to secure loans in excess of Sh5 billion from two listed banks.

The businessman is also said to have defaulted on at least Sh1.4 billion with two other banks. Last October, Mr Sabir moved to court to challenge an order issued by Mombasa High Court Judge Njoki Mwangi to transfer vehicles to his younger brother.

The brother, Noorein, a director of Transmara Logistics Ltd, also moved to court and successfully obtained orders that Sabir releases three 30,000 litre fuel tankers and two trailers.

In another case, the High Court ordered Sabir to give Mr Noorein part of the fleet he had taken over. Sabir applied for court orders for an audit of how 15 trucks claimed by both ended up with his brother.

But in a counter suit, Sabir accused Noorein and his sister, Fatma, of conspiracy to fraudulently transfer the said vehicles to Noorein's firm.

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