Alleged drug smugglers lose appeal against bail refusal

05 Feb 2019 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 05 FEB (NAMPA) – The High Court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal bid against bail refusal by two men arrested in June 2018 for allegedly smuggling cocaine valued at N.dollars 206 million through the port of Walvis Bay.
The two men - Namibian national Grant Noble and South African citizen Dinath Azhar - were refused bail after they made their first appearance in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court on 18 June 2018 following strong objections by the prosecution.
The duo through their privately-instructed defence lawyers - Sisa Namandje and Attorney Jan Wessels - then brought the appeal application against bail refusal in the Windhoek High Court on 24 January this year, hoping to be granted bail while awaiting the finalisation of their case.
The suspected drug smugglers will now have to remain in police custody following the dismissal of their appeal application in a ruling handed down by High Court Judge Naomi Shivute on Tuesday.
Namandje and Wessels wanted the High Court to grant their clients bail in the amount of N.dollars 50 000 each because the police are yet to establish whether the confiscated drugs are cocaine or something else.
Prosecution representative, State Advocate Salomon Kanyemba opposed the granting of bail because the offence is trans-border and police investigations into the matter are still ongoing.
The two men are suspected to be part of an international drug syndicate responsible for smuggling drugs worth millions of dollars on a vessel from Brazil through the Walvis Bay port in the Erongo Region.
The alleged cocaine was found concealed in boxes of copy papers in a container.