Racketeering accused Rondebosch businessman appears alone in dock

2017-02-10 18:06
Rondebosch businessman Irshaad Laher hides his face as he leaves the high court. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Rondebosch businessman Irshaad Laher hides his face as he leaves the high court. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town - The State has been authorised to proceed with racketeering charges against a Rondebosch businessman and a Vereeniging arms dealer, the Western Cape High Court heard in a pre-trial hearing on Friday.

Prosecutor Shareen Riley said the State received authorisation from the National Director of Public Prosecutions in the case of businessman Irshaad Laher and Alan Raves.

They had also obtained transcripts of monitored telephone conversations between Laher and a witness.

Laher, out on R100 000 bail, cut a solitary figure in the dock. He later hid his face with a tracksuit top when leaving court.

His co-accused Alan Raves, 50, a Vereeniging arms dealer, missed his second court appearance because of ill health.

According to an indictment, the pair face a raft of charges ranging from racketeering and corruption, to theft and possession of prohibited firearms.

Gang connection

In November it emerged that Raves was fighting for his life in ICU. He suffered multi-organ dysfunction, was on a ventilator and dialysis.

On Friday the court heard that his condition had somewhat improved but that he could still not travel to Cape Town.

Raves apparently had a very serious bedsore from being confined to a bed in ICU for months. He is not able to sit or stand for long periods.

The court held over a warrant of arrest for Raves until the pair's next appearance on May 12.

Laher is accused of buying guns from ex-police officer Chris Prinsloo of Vereeniging, who was recently sentenced to 18 years behind bars after entering a plea and sentence agreement with the State.

He pleaded guilty to 11 charges including theft, racketeering and money laundering.

Prinsloo, a former police colonel, was in charge of the police armoury and stole 2 400 guns over almost a decade.

In his plea agreement, Prinsloo said he provided guns to a man in Cape Town.

Prinsloo apparently met Laher in Gauteng when he was a police officer and Laher a reservist.

After his arrest he told police that he sold about 2 000 guns to Laher, the State alleges.

Raves was arrested in August 2015 after several guns ranging from assault rifles to smaller calibre arms were seized.

Prinsloo pleaded guilty to stealing guns and ammunition destined for destruction and reselling them, primarily to gangs on the Cape Flats.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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