11 November 2017

Lesotho: Fake Documents 'Syndicate' Seeks Bail

A SYNDICATE of alleged fraudsters have begun a court battle to be released on bail after first appearing before the Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Napo Moliko (29) from Semphethenyane, Ha-Seoli, Thabang Shololo (29) from

Lekokoaneng, Ha-Sakoane and Bafo Topisi (30) from Leribe, Ha-Topisi are

facing charges of contravening the provisions of Section 68 (1) read with Section

109 of the Penal Code Act No. 6 of 2010.

According to the charge sheet the trio allegedly, during the month of August this year, misrepresented to the First National Bank (FNB), Pioneer Mall branch, that certain cheques amounting to M145 000 were duly and lawfully drawn in favour of Reza Motors company and one, Thabo Mkhonazi, and the bank "acted upon the said misrepresentation to its detriment" and released the money.

The charge sheet further states that between September and October this year, Moliko misrepresented to Nedbank and caused it to transfer more than M1million into other bank accounts at the FNB branch in Ladybrand, South Africa.

They are also accused of forging several documents that include bank cards, educational certificates and drivers' licences.

The Magistrate's Court started hearing their bail application on Tuesday after the prosecution notified the court that it opposed the application.

One of the investigators of the case, Detective Police Constable 'Matli of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) testified on behalf of the prosecution.

He told the court that the three accused persons were likely to abscond if released on bail given that the offences they were facing attracted a sentence of at least 20 years imprisonment.

Constable 'Matli was testifying in support of Mr Qcinumuzi Tshabalala's argument that the trio would abscond if released on bail.

Mr Tshabalala is representing the Crown in the proceedings.

He also said that Moliko was facing further charges arising from the criminal offences he committed last year.

However, Moliko emphasised that he would not flee if released on bail because he has two children and a heavily pregnant wife.

Their lawyer, Advocate Rethabile Setlojoane, urged the court to release them on bail as they were presumed innocent until proven guilty.

He also explained that it would be unfair for his clients to be denied bail

based on the strong evidence the police allege they have against them which

the court does not know at the moment.

The bail hearing is continuing before Magistrate, Monyake Hlabanyane.

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