State controls drug couple’s assets

2014-01-13 00:00

THREE Northdale houses, four cars, cash and jewellery linked to a Pietermaritzburg-based drug syndicate may not be disposed of pending the finalisation of a forfeiture application by the state.

An order to this effect was granted by Judge Isaac Madondo on Friday in relation to properties at numbers 4, 26 and 22 Mars Crescent in Northdale where Pietermaritzburg drug kingpins Hoosen and Yasmin Mohamed trafficked drugs for over 20 years.

The court has appointed a curator, Eugene Nel, to take charge of the various assets for the state. They include the three properties at Mars Crescent, four vehicles (a Volvo S40 and three Toyota Corollas), household goods including three flatscreen television sets, furniture, and cash and jewellery, which are alleged to have been the proceeds of crime.

The estimated value of the assets, including the cash and jewellery, was not disclosed.

Hoosen and his wife Yasmin entered into a plea bargain with the state in the Pietermaritzburg regional court in December and are serving jail sentences for racketeering and dealing in cocaine.

Yasmin was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment plus a wholly suspended sentence of 10 years.

Her husband — who had three previous convictions for drug related offences — was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment of which seven years was conditionally suspended.

Five of the couple’s “drug runners” — Norman Govender, Koobashen Nelson, Tomy Ramdew, Azam Ismail and Suleiman Ismail Shaik — also entered into plea agreements with the prosecution. They were handed sentences ranging from an effective eight to three years in prison.

In a statement to court when they pleaded, Hoosen and Yasmin admitted they ran a drug enterprise from Mars Crescent for many years.

Deputy director of Public Prosecutions Knorx Molelle said in an affidavit in the high court application that the investigating officer in the case, Mahendra Balmookand, had obtained statements from the couple’s family revealing that they’d sold drugs for over 20 years and had never been gainfully employed. The drugs were sold from 4 and 26 Mars Crescent, and drugs and cash were stored at number 22.

The couple appeared to have had “almost constant access” to large quantities of drugs. Of necessity, this meant they had to have cash to pay for it.

Parties cited in high court papers as having an interest in the property and goods under court restraint are Hoosen and Yasmin Mahomed, Jainab Govender, Jayraj Govender, Fathima Nair, Naresh Nair and Ivo Ifeanyi Orji, a Nigerian man who has a temporary asylum permit to live in SA.

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