State property in suspect’s trailer

2013-06-05 00:00

A VARIETY of suspected stolen state property was recovered in 2009 from a trailer owned by local businessman Sigamoney Pillay, who is on trial with former Mountain Rise police commander Hariram Badul and three others.

This was the evidence given in the case before Judge Rashid Vahed and two assessors yesterday by Colonel Gopaul Govender.

Govender said he was stationed at Mountain Rise from November 2009 while an investigation into alleged irregularities at the station was under way, until June 2010.

Badul, Pillay, Suresh Naraindath, Yunus Khan and Bhekuyise Nkabini have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of racketeering, fraud, theft, corruption and money laundering over allegations that they abused state property and resources for their own benefit over a long time.

Govender testified that he and members of the police dog unit went to a house in Newholmes on Saturday, November 14, 2009, in response to information he received that suspected stolen goods were hidden there.

He regarded the matter as urgent because he was told the property was likely to be moved the same day.

Govender said they found the homeowner — whose surname was Singar — was not home and that he was in fact at Loop Street police station with Senior Superintendent Bala Naidoo.

Naidoo was the leader of the task team that was busy with the investigation at Mountain Rise police station.

Govender said Singar subsequently came to the scene accompanied by two other policemen, Robin Mays and Calvin Adimulam, and gave police permission to search the premises.

In an outhouse they found a “three-wheeler lawnmower” and two “massive cooking pots”, which Singar’s daughter said had been brought there by her “Uncle Siga” the night that he’d also come there with a trailer.

Govender said he knew the “Siga” referred to was Sigamoney Pillay who was a “household name in Mountain Rise” and a friend of many of the policemen there.

Govender said the trailer — the type used to transport frozen fish — was padlocked. After attempts to contact Pillay failed, his brother told police to “feel free” to break open the lock which Govender then did, using bolt cutters.

A variety of goods were recovered from the trailer, including a chainsaw, water dispenser, government issue paper, a heater, fluorescent globes, and knapsack sprayers. After being examined and checked for identifying marks, the suspected stolen goods were removed and stored at Loop Street police station.

Pillay’s advocate, Zina Anastasiou, told Govender in cross examination that Pillay’s instructions were that he [Pillay] had brought the property there from the home of Stanley Naidoo, a policeman and state witness in the trial.

“I know nothing about that,” Govender replied.

The case is proceeding.

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