Cape Town ivory suspect gets R1m bail

2012-03-05 22:22

Cape Town - A Chinese businessman accused of possessing and dealing in ivory, was released on bail of R1m by the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday.

The SA Revenue Service (Sars) was also investigating Qi Lu, no age or address given, and more charges could be brought against him, said prosecutor Aradhana Heeramun.

She had asked the court to set bail at R2m, arguing that Qi was an affluent businessman who had been in South Africa for 10 years.

It would be "an absolute mockery" to set it at R100 000, as requested by defence attorney Zurena Abrahams, she said.

She submitted that although Qi had surrendered his Chinese passport to the police, this did not guarantee that he would attend his trial. False passports could be obtained with ease, and Qi was considered a flight risk.

Heeramun said crimes involving ivory were "extremely prevalent and sensitive".

"The accused can consider himself fortunate that the State has elected not to oppose bail," she said.

Heeramun told the court that Sars officials had found ivory products packed in boxes in a visit to Qi's warehouse.

A "controlled delivery" of ivory products had led the police to premises in Montague Gardens, where an unsuspecting Qi was waiting.

She said he was in business with another Chinese man, who was out of the country. A warrant had been authorised for his arrest on his return.

Abrahams submitted that Lu only had R100 000 available, and that he intended to plead not guilty.

"My client will stand trial to prove his innocence," she said.

Qi appeared before Magistrate Jasthree Steyn, who postponed the case to May 16.

  • Tanie - 2012-03-05 22:26

    It's worth more than a million to escape South African prisons.He is in china as we write.Bloody snake eaters.

      TheJaydedKing - 2012-03-06 05:53

      Agree. They may as well have included a ticket to china with his bail.

  • joeballito - 2012-03-05 22:41

    Why did God make people like these?

  • Cindy Mendes - 2012-03-06 01:00

    Joe I'm sorry but this has nothing to do with God yes he made us but there is right and wrong and for these ppl they chose to live the wrong way, God said the devil will walk the earth and he is doing just that... The devil is very busy u see it everyday in the news... Sad but very true... God put us on earth to look after the animals not kill them...

      TheJaydedKing - 2012-03-06 05:53

      Everything has to do with God. Everything

  • Multi - 2012-03-06 06:29

    If I was this guy I'd be have been on a flight to any country without an extradition agreement with SA within an hour of posting bail. Why doesn't SA install tracking devices on its bail applicants so they can track them down? I'd also do the same for anybody released from jail to make sure they don't commit another offense. Attach a tazer, loudspeaker and emergency transmitter to it so if its tampered with it gives an incapacitating shock, a high pitched alarm with is loud enough to similarly incapacitate the criminal and send a signal to a specialized task force that it is being removed so they can rearrest him before he recovers.

  • Garth - 2012-03-06 07:37

    Amoral, lying, thieving, unethical piece of snake shiite and that's just the defence lawyer. "My client will stand trial to prove his innocence," she said. You gotta love a lawyer!

  • Gail - 2012-03-06 08:28

    I am so pleased. This is so great.

  • amanda - 2012-03-06 11:27

    I said it before and I'll say it again. Too many china shops opening up everywhere. By the way this Chinese Qi's business is in Montagu Gardens where there is a huge Chinatown. The hawks must keep up their good work of regular checks at the couriers offices. This is how the sting was done and traced to Qi.

  • amanda - 2012-03-06 11:31

    I dont know about anyone else but from a moral point of view but I will never set foot in one of these shops as we do not know who else is involved in the trafficking.

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