2 men caught with R6.4m in cash appear in court

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SARS has bust two passengers at OR Tambo International Airport with R6.7m in cash. (SARS)
SARS has bust two passengers at OR Tambo International Airport with R6.7m in cash. (SARS)

Johannesburg – The two men who were caught with R6.4m of undeclared currency at OR Tambo International Airport made their first appearance at the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court on Monday.

The figure was initially reported to be R6.7m.

The two men, Fazial Hassan and Ilyns Muhammed, appeared briefly before Magistrate J van Vuuren on charges of failure to declare and currency smuggling.

Van Vuuren postponed the case to February 5 for further investigation. The two will also apply for bail on that day.

The two were nabbed when the cash was seized after they checked their baggage in for a flight from Johannesburg to Dubai.

READ: Two Dubai-bound passengers arrested after checking-in suitcases stuffed with R6.4m

News24 earlier reported that the South African Revenue Service, which was responsible for the bust, said that the men were intercepted as they were about to board the flight on Thursday.

Numerous brown envelopes stuffed with a total of $568 480 in various denominations were found among clothing items.

No family, friends present

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi earlier told News24 that the two were arrested with a female companion, however, only the two men appeared before Van Vuuren.

It's unclear whether the two men, who were escorted into the nearly empty court in ankle chains, are South African or not.

Both men had no family or friends present during court proceedings.

Muhammed was dressed in a navy hoodie and blue jeans while Hassan wore a blue and white shirt with black jeans.

Muhammed glanced towards the door on several occasions.

There was little interaction between the two men during court.

According to SARS, the case was "very sensitive" and the interception was part of ongoing, "wider investigations" into a syndicate.

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