Acquitted man gets his money back

The High Court has ordered the police to return a large sum of money confiscated from a foreign citizen who was subsequently acquitted of all charges.

14 June 2018 | Justice

The Windhoek High Court has ordered the inspector-general of the Namibian Police to comply with an order of the Regional Court in Katutura and release close to N$700 000 seized from an Egyptian man in 2013.

Judge Tomas Masuku also ordered the applicant, Ahmed Mohammed Rashed, to comply with the relevant laws and regulations that govern the possession of foreign currency in Namibia. Rashed was arrested at Hosea Kutako International Airport on 6 December 2013 with the equivalent of N$642 580 in several foreign currency denominations. The money was confiscated by the police and handed over to the Bank of Namibia for safekeeping.

Rashed, an Egyptian national residing in Swakopmund, was charged under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and the Foreign Currency Regulations. He was acquitted on all charges on 28 March 2018.

Rashed then filed an urgent application in the Windhoek High Court to force the police to comply with a lower court order to return the money to him within 24 hours.

The order had been made by Regional Court Magistrate Ileni Velikoshi on 28 March 2018.

Judge Masuku said in his ruling yesterday that international airports are zones where a high degree of surveillance, safety and security is strictly observed.

“Hosea Kutako International Airport in Namibia is no exception in this regard,” the judge said.

He found that there was no evidence that the respondents had acted wilfully and disobediently, or that their non-compliance with the court order was in bad faith or with intent to deceive.



FRED GOEIEMAN

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