Cape Town businessman released on R100 000 bail

2016-06-27 22:09
FILE: Guns recovered after a shoot-out at the Brook Street taxi rank in Durban. (Supplied to News24)

FILE: Guns recovered after a shoot-out at the Brook Street taxi rank in Durban. (Supplied to News24)

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Cape Town - Cape Town businessman Irshaad Laher was granted R100 000 bail in the Bellville Magistrate's Court on Monday, where he appeared on charges of gun smuggling and racketeering.  

The 41-year-old was arrested at his Rondebosch home on Thursday. He is accused of buying firearms from a former police colonel who stole them from a police armoury.

Ex-policeman Chris Prinsloo, 55, of Vereeniging, was sentenced to in effect 18 years behind bars last week, after he entered into a plea and sentence agreement with the State.

In his plea agreement, Prinsloo said he provided guns to a man in Cape Town, which eventually ended up in the hands of gangsters. 

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

He was in charge of a police armoury from which 2400 guns were stolen over almost a decade. He raked in R2 million for stealing guns and ammunition destined for destruction.

Most of these firearms were believed to have been sold to gangs on the Cape Flats.

Laher, the part-owner of four businesses, lived in Gauteng before he moved to Cape Town.

In an affidavit, he said he became aware that he was being investigated for his alleged involvement in a criminal syndicate in February 2015. Since then he had been co-operating with the police’s investigation.

The father of two said he was a dedicated shooter and hunter and part of the SA Hunters Association. He had a number of competency certificates and gun licences. He said he took part in competitive shots and boasted provincial colours.

He carried a weapon for self-defence as his business interests meant he regularly drew large amounts of cash, he said in his statement.

Prinsloo apparently met Laher when he was a policeman and Laher a reservist. He told police after his arrest that he sold about 2000 guns to Laher, the State alleges.

Prinsloo allegedly made deliveries to others for collection by Laher and delivered firearms to him in the Western Cape. Some of the deliveries were made at the McDonald’s in Ottery, near the Spur owned by Laher.

According to the State, in their last transaction in December 2014, Laher paid Prinsloo R120 000 for a shipment of firearms. It never materialised as Prinsloo was arrested the following month.

The case was postponed to July 22.


Read more on:    saha  |  cape town  |  crime

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