N.dollar 206 million cocaine case sees another postponement

29 May 2019 18:20pm
WALVIS BAY, 29 MAY (NAMPA) - The Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court has once again postponed the case involving two men accused of attempting to smuggle cocaine worth N.dollars 206 million through the port of Walvis Bay last year.
Public Prosecutor Maggy Shiyagaya-Lotto said investigations in the matter have not yet been completed when Grant Noble and Dinath Azhar appeared in court Wednesday.
“The State is still waiting for a statement from the Brazilian court where the consignment is believed to have been sent from, as well as a cellphone believed to contain further information on the matter, which was sent to Israel for analysis,”Shiyagaya-Lotto said.
She said the State needs more time to complete their investigations due to the complexity and magnitude of the case and she therefore asked for a postponement to 31 October this year, which the court granted.
The accused’s legal representatives Jan Hendrik Wessels and Sacky Kadhila Amoomo of Stern and Barnard and Kadhila Amoomo Legal Practitioners respectively, unsuccessfully challenged this decision, questioning why the State needed five more months to complete investigations that commenced six months ago.
Wessels, who is representing Noble, argued that his client has been in custody for close to a year now and prior bail applications have been unsuccessful.
“One of the bail objections was the fear that the accused persons would interfere with investigations, however now that we have been informed that the Namibian part of the investigations have been completed, may they be granted bail?” he asked.
He also asked that the court consider this as the last remand as the accused deserve a fair and speedy trial.
The court however still opposed bail, stating that it fears the accused may have contacts in Brazil, which could still hinder investigations.
It however agreed to the legal practitioners’ request to transfer the accused, who were in custody in Windhoek, back to Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, where their relatives reside.
Noble, 36, and Azhar, 62, were arrested in June 2018, as they were about to claim the container.
The 412 kilogrammes of cocaine were hidden in boxes and declared as stationery.
It is alleged that the container arrived at the Walvis Bay port on 09 June 2018 from Brazil through South Africa and was not claimed.
The container was then kept under surveillance until the owners arrived to claim it.
The container was opened and a search conducted.
Noble and Azhar were then arrested and a case of dealing in cocaine was opened.
Magistrate Rhivermo Williams presided over the matter.
(NAMPA)
IB/AS/HP