Bail conditions amended for suspected cash smugglers

2016-02-27 06:45
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Barberton – Lawyers representing two Mozambican men who allegedly tried to smuggle more than R76m in cash into South Africa have successfully filed applications requesting that their clients' bail applications be amended.

Faizal Assane, 50, and Ahmed Abdulla, 38, appeared in the Barberton Magistrate's Court in Mpumalanga on Thursday afternoon.

They were not asked to plead to charges of money laundering, fraud and possession of suspected stolen property.

Previously, their bail conditions restricted the two to stay at the address of a house in Boksburg listed on Assane’s affidavits as one of his properties.

They were allowed to leave the residence between 06:00 and 18:00, but only for the purpose of receiving medical care if necessary or consulting their lawyers.

They were also expected to report to the Boksburg police station twice a week and to stay in the country until the conclusion of the case.

One of the legal representatives, Andrè Steenkamp, succeeded in getting the bail conditions amended.

But he could not convince the court to force the prosecution team to provide certain particulars of the case.

Prosecutor Lisa Ahlers, who is a senior State advocate at the Specialist Tax Unit in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Pretoria, said the accused were not entitled to the particulars requested by their lawyers.

Ahlers argued that providing the accused with the particulars might keep them abreast on how far was investigations were going.

But she didn't oppose the accused's application to have their bail conditions amended.

The amended bail conditions require the men to report to the Boksburg police station once a week. They are allowed to leave their residence between 06:00 and 20:00 and leave Gauteng if they have a prior arrangement with the investigating officer.

The accused were arrested last year on Christmas Day during a joint operation involving the South African Police Service and the South African Revenue Services at the Lebombo Border Post.

Previously, Magistrate Merriam Mabetwa granted Assane R150 000 bail and Abdulla R25 000 bail.

Mabetwa postponed the case to May 27 for further investigation.

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