Pair in drug case ‘had criminal records’

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Copy of Copy of Copy of IOL court justice scales Independent Newspapers

Durban - Two Chinese nationals charged in connection with a Kloof drug laboratory would have been barred entry into South Africa had they disclosed their criminal records.

This was the testimony of Colonel Amod Khalil Hoosen, head of Narcotics at the Durban Organised Crime Unit, during the bail application of Wing Lik Wong, Kin Hung Yip, Warren Daniels and Junaid Rasool in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The men are linked to a suspected drug manufacturing operation based at an Everton Road, Kloof home. The property was raided by the police on June 24 when

Wing Lik Wong, Kin Hung Yip and Daniels were arrested on the premises. Rasool, who is the registered owner of the house, was arrested on July 17

.

All deny any wrongdoing.

Hoosen said both Chinese nationals had visitors’ permits to be in the country but this would have probably not been granted had they disclosed their previous convictions.

He had obtained information, via the US’s Drug Enforcement Agency, from China, that both men had criminal convictions.

Wing Lik Wong, 58, had a conviction for illegal gambling in the 1980s.

Kin Hung Yip, 56, had been convicted of managing a brothel and assisting in the running of a massage parlour in the 1980s. He had also been convicted of drug trafficking in 1999.

Attorney Abdul Shaikjee, who is acting for Daniels, 24, and the Chinese nationals, said that Hoosen did not have documents related to the convictions. “It is not a fact that these convictions were not disclosed to immigration officials and that it was not considered when their permits were granted.”

Hoosen said it was unlikely that the men would have told immigration officials about their convictions since it had not been disclosed to the court.

Advocate Shane Matthews, acting for Rasool, said his client had been arrested after he had arranged to meet the police. “His attorney made contact on the day of the raid and the police only called him three weeks later; if he wanted to flee, he could have done so.”

Matthews said that the police were relying on information from informers.

Shaikjee said his clients, who claimed they were hired to do legitimate work at the house, said the State had a weak case and that the men could be released on bail.

State advocate Waldo Smit said, on the face of it, there was a case against the men and there was a likelihood that they would evade their trial if granted bail. The Chinese nationals were illegal foreigners as their permits had expired and it would be “absurd” to release them.

Magistrate Queen Khuzwayo is expected to make a ruling in the bail application later this month.

The Mercury


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