The director of an IT company escapes – about thirty employees penniless

 Translated from Le Defi – Wednesday, 22 August 2012

They are unemployed since July 5.  The irony is that they were not paid for the two previous months and their director has left.

For failure to pay creditors, the company, engaged in software development has been placed into compulsory liquidation. A complaint has been registered at the employment office by the employees affected.

“There is not a single penny in the coffers “. This is the statement of the liquidator of the company which was contacted by Le Défi Quotidien.  The company, engaged in programming, commenced operations in 2007.  Staff (including five Mauritians) worked mainly for the foreign market. It employed about thirty employees. “Everything was going well until last January when the payment of our wages began to fall behind,” says a disillusioned employee.

Last November, a contract was signed between the company and a large mobile operator in South Africa for the realization of a project that took five years of software development. “It was agreed that we work by correspondence. The project was supposed to start in July, “says Sunil, a computer technician.

According to our interlocutor, it is at the end of May (when they had not received their wages) that employees heard that the company “was in financial difficulties.” During the same period, the director fled Mauritius.  He did not intend to “pay the salaries of its employees or pay local creditors, like its principal Swiss funder.” Important details which employees learned at their dismissal.

“It was agreed that we receive our pay two days before the end of the month. However, since January, our salaries were often paid after the end of the month. We have even had to wait until the 15th of the following month to get our due. An untenable situation, especially for those with family obligations, “said an employee of the Human Resources Department.
The premises of this company, which operated in Cybercity Ebene, have been sealed. No activities are ongoing there and expatriates of this development company returned home in late July.

“Alerted by the end of June, the employment office of Quatre-Bornes informed us it was working on our case. Officers would prepare a report to submit their views to their superiors. Since then, nothing.  No news of this famous report, the officers never called us back to inform us about the evolution of the situation”, said another employee.

Asked by Le Défi Quotidien, an officer from the labor office told us that the ministry has recorded one of the former employees under the Welfare Program. He explains that “it is the duty of the liquidator (Receiver Manager) to pay wages owed to former employees, as the company went into liquidation. If the same liquidator did not provide notice to employees, he will have to pay them a bonus at the end of the year”, added the officer from the employment office.

The liquidator “No money in the coffers!”
“Several factors have led the directors of this company software development to put the key under the mat,” adds, categorically, the Receiver Manager. “There was not a penny in hand. Directors cannot be found. They certainly left the country quietly”, he says.

“I would have liked to regularize the situation of ex-employees. The question is where to find the money? The director took advantage of all the benefits in Mauritius, while accumulating debts. I think that even if they could put their hands on the project developed in Mauritius, it will be difficult to market the software on the foreign market, as they have all the intellectual property rights on this
product”, he concluded.


A South African Company vanishes leaving debts of 300m in Mauritius


Article translated for you from French by John Basu:

South-African company disappears leaving 300 millions Mauritian Rupees debt.

End of Game, so it seems to be for Game Theorem Limited based in the Cyber city of  Ebene. This South-African company has shut its doors leaving about 300 millions Mauritian Rupees (about 8 millions EUR) debt. A commercial bank being owed more than 10 millions of Rupees appointed a receiver. It’s PricewaterhouseCoopers who is handing the file. The employees themselves fear for their future.

About thirty employees of this company, specialized in the development of game software to run on mobile phones, are still waiting for their unpaid salaries since last May. The Mauritian employees filed their cases with the Ministry of Labor who is charged with this case. The foreign employees from Ukraine, Armenia and India had to return to their home countries as they had no further means of living in Mauritius.

A responsible financier of the firm confided in l’express that among the unpaid bills were also the rent for the office premises, the bills of Mauritius Telecom and other mobile operators. But the largest amount was owed to a Swiss IT company based in Mauritius. This company financed the entire development of the software product of Game Theorem Limited and is still waiting for their invested 240 millions of Rupees to be paid back.

A responsible of the Swiss firm, which had been contacted by l’express, hinted that a South-African consortium might take over Game Theorem in Mauritius.