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Initial report on Bollywood show released

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 15:16 23/06/2014

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Bollywood legend Shahrukh Khan's lavish Auckland show last year has left behind creditors in New Zealand owed $856,922 and questions by a court appointed liquidator over where the money has gone.

Khan, who is personally worth US$600 million (NZ$705 million) and co-owns the Kolkata Knight Riders IPL cricket team, performed at Auckland's Vector on October 4 with ticket prices ranging from $199 to $650.

He was paid before entering New Zealand.

Khan had Prime Minister John Key to dinner and a clutch of National Party MPs got free tickets to his Auckland show which saw around 7500 people attending.

He was paid before he performed, but New Zealand Indians who put up money have been left out of pocket and gone to the High Court to wind up the company behind it all, Areddy Private Ltd.

Its sole director and shareholder was Agastya Pesara who left New Zealand soon after the show and is now bankrupt.

Court appointed liquidator Digby John Noyce posted his first report to creditors on the Companies Office site today.

He says the majority of the costs for the show, marketed as "Temptation Reloaded", needed to be paid prior to the concert.

Funding came by way of loans and sponsorship agreements.Noyce said Pesara had provided some information but he has left the country without a formal interview about the company.

"(Pesara) has been unable to provide us with any formal accounting records," Noyce said.

"Our investigations have revealed that the director routed company funds through a number of other parties bank accounts including his own."

Noyce said they have taken control of the company bank accounts and commenced an investigation.

This will include whether the company holds any further assets which the liquidator is not aware of and looking at other ways of recovery.

"We are forensically reviewing the company's records and have identified a number of payments which we consider may be voidable."

The liquidator says he will also look to see if there have been breaches of the Companies Act. He said it was impractical at this stage to say when the liquidation will be completed.

The report does not provide a breakdown of who is owed $856,922, other than for Inland Revenue which is owed $6765 in GST.

Other creditors include the ASB Bank, the Bank of New Zealand, Westpac Bank, Eftpos Systems Ltd, Greenwoods Corner Travel Ltd and assorted individuals, mostly Indians.

Earlier this year when the company was put into liquidation, creditor Atul Lal of Eftpos Systems Ltd said the dinner John Key attended is now a bit hard to swallow.

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"We had all the ministers in there," he said. "The dinner we had the day before the event we had John Key there as well."

Justice Minister Judith Collins, who has been on political strife over a dinner she attended in China, confirmed she also attended the Auckland dinner with Khan.

Khan's tour has already caused controversy in Australia, where state owned Destination NSW funded the Sydney show with A$1m.

Indian community groups objected to a mega-star getting money when they could not.

Earlier Indian Newslink reported that in his now closed down Facebook page Pesara said the Auckland economy was a beneficiary of the concert and that those involved with its organisation would have made a handsome profit.

Newslink said Greenwood Corner Travel Ltd provided $400,000 in air tickets for travel for Khan and has over 100 strong cast.

That company is now in liquidation and its managing director Nimesh Amin returned to India.

A South Auckland man, Ghouse Majeed, told Newslink he lent $100,000 for the show but had not been repaid.

"He said that he would pay me $100,000 immediately before or after the programme," he said.

Attempts to reach Pesara through his Linkden account, which says he lives in Perth, have been unsuccessful.

- Stuff

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