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WA businessman faces charges

Pavan Tikam Shivnani last week appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court on a fraud charge, after being arrested by the WA Police Major Fraud Squad. Mr Shivnani, the sole director of Australian Foods Company Pty Ltd (in administration), faced one count of fraud, which was laid after an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the WA Police Commercial Crime’s Major Fraud Squad. AFC is a Perth-based company that exported grain overseas. It is alleged that Mr Shivnani defrauded the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on March 7 2003 when he obtained finance for $450,977.32 on presentation of a letter of credit. He also provided some test certificates, a requirement under the letter of credit, that were alleged to be false. The finance related to an AFC order with a Taiwan company for a shipment of 1,200 metric tonnes of barley to Taiwan. Following his arrest on Wednesday, Mr Shivnani was released by the police on bail of $25,000 to appear in court today. Mr Shivnani is next scheduled to appear on May 26 2006 for a committal mention. His bail continues to include a condition that he does not contact any of the witnesses in the matter. The charges will initially be prosecuted by the WA Police.

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