Cop accused of attempted trafficking

2018-12-10 12:16
Captain Sandananda Pillay is accused with four others of attempting to traffic a Bangladeshi man back to his country.

Captain Sandananda Pillay is accused with four others of attempting to traffic a Bangladeshi man back to his country.

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A Captain at Mountain Rise police station has been accused of attempting to traffic a Bangladeshi national.

Captain Sandananda Pillay (59) is one of five men who have been charged with kidnapping Masod Masod from his Mooi River home and attempting to take him out of the country against his will.

The charges relate to an incident on August 6, where the men allegedly orchestrated an attempt to forcibly fly Masod out of the country from King Shaka International Airport.

Masod was allegedly handcuffed and taken to the airport to be trafficked back to Bangladesh.

Pillay, an officer with 39 years’ experience, made a fleeting appearance with his alleged accomplices at the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Also among the accused is Pillay’s son, Niel (24), and three Bangladeshi nationals — one of whom is employed by the state as an interpreter.

They are Mooi River businessmen Islam Kazi Rafikul (38) and Hatem Mia (31), and Phoenix, Durban man Mahfuz Alam (52), who said in an affidavit before court that he is KwaZulu-Natal’s only Bangladeshi interpreter.

The matter was adjourned to February next year for further investigations to be completed.

The state has alleged that Rafikul and Mia had “arranged documents for” Masod to go back to his country, and Alam was used as an interpreter for the accused to communicate with Masod.

The investigating officer, warrant officer Mzwamandla Goodman Msomi, alleged in an affidavit before court that the five men had “forcefully” taken Masod from his home in Mooi River to King Shaka where he was going to be “sent back to” Bangladesh.

“The victim says that he did not want to go back,” the affidavit read.

Msomi’s affidavit, which dealt only with the question of whether Sandananda Pillay should be granted bail, did not oppose his bail, saying he was not a flight risk.

The men’s motive for the alleged incident has not yet been heard in court.

Pillay and his son are out on bail of R2 000 each, and Alam is out on bail of R20 000.

Rafikul and Mia were previously refused bail.

Pillay said in an affidavit in support of his release on bail that he is the sole breadwinner for his family, and provided an alternate address from his Northdale home where he will reside until the matter is finalised.

He added that he has some health problems, like internal bleeding in his eye and may require treatment.

He said in the affidavit that he had a previous conviction in 1989 on the charge of “pointing a firearm”, where he was sentenced to three months in prison and a fine.

Alam, a married father of three, said in an affidavit that he has no previous convictions, but is currently facing a charge of fraud in another case.

Both Rafikul and Mia, in an affidavits in support of bail, said they were asylum seekers in South Africa, and both own a grocery store in Mooi River, and another in Estcourt.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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