Steward Healthcare sued for €2.8 million unpaid brokerage fees over hospitals deal

Two Pakistani nationals who acted as brokers between government and Vitals on hospitals deal are now suing Steward Healthcare for unpaid fees

From Vitals to Steward, two Pakistani nationals are suing for unpaid brokerage fees
From Vitals to Steward, two Pakistani nationals are suing for unpaid brokerage fees

Steward Healthcare is being sued for €2.8 million by two Pakistani nationals, who acted as brokers on the hospitals deal with the Maltese government.

Mohammed Shoiab Walajahi and Sarwat Shoiab Walajahi are claiming Steward has failed to pay them the money that was promised to them back in 2015.

Lawyers Franco Galea and Jean Pierre Busuttil filed the court application on behalf of the Pakistani nationals last month.

The development comes as Malta awaits the fate of the hospitals contract, which is to be determined by the courts.

Judge Francesco Depasquale is expected to rule whether the hospitals privatisation deal between government and Steward Healthcare should be rescinded. The case was initiated by PN MP Adrian Delia.

The latest court application filed by the Walajahis includes an introducer fee settlement agreement that they signed in March 2015 with Crossrange Holdings Ltd, which was owned by Canadian businessman Ram Tumuluri. The agreement was drawn up by the law firm DF Advocates.

Tumuluri was the frontman of Vitals Global Healthcare, which was eventually awarded the hospitals concession by government.

The agreement states that Mohammed Shoiab Walajahi provided Crossrange with introducer services in relation to “the project and the entry into and execution of the memorandum of understanding”.

The MOU had been signed between the Vitals investors and the Maltese government in October 2014. Just six months’ later government issued a public call for the part-privatisation of St Luke’s, Karen Grech and Gozo hospitals, which Vitals eventually won. 

The agreement obliged Crossrange to pay the Walajahis €2.8 million with an initial payment of €30,000 within 30 days of signing. The rest of the money had to be passed on within 60 days of the final deal being signed with government.

If the deal with government fell through, the Walajahis would forfeit the €2.8 million.

The Walajahis entered into a separate agreement on 19 June 2015 with Bluestone Investments and Vitals Global Healthcare, both represented by Tumuluri and Mark Pawley, in which the companies took over Crossrange’s obligations.

Vitals was later selected as the government’s preferred bidder for the hospitals concession but the company went belly up two years later.

The concession was then sold to Steward Healthcare, an American company.

The Walajahis are now suing Steward over the unpaid amount they were due.