The prosecutor general has decided to prosecute three Angolan women who were caught at the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) with more than N$2.2 million in foreign currencies late last year.
Maria Combua (46), Helena Samba Pintal (35) and Beatriz Antunes (47) were informed that the prosecutor general has decided to have them stand trial on charges of unlawful export of currency and disguising unlawful origin of a property respectively.
Their trial is scheduled to start on 2 February 2021.
During their court appearance, defence lawyer Jorge Neves made an application to have the court release the accused on bail seeing that investigations have been completed.
However, prosecutor Edel Upindi said the State is still opposing bail.
The court gave an order that the defence team should bring forth a formal bail application.
“The defence should bring an application for bail on new facts as the State in this matter is still opposing bail. Hence, an application can be brought which the court will hear,” said magistrate Namwenyo Shikalepo.
The court set down the date of 10 November for the formal bail application.
Combua and her co-accused have applied for bail before but the court declined their release.
The court at the time indicated that the state proved beyond reasonable doubt that there is a strong prima facie case against the accused. Furthermore, money laundering is an international crime that transits borders and many people get away with it.
At the time the State strongly opposed the accused’s release on bail citing that there is fear the accused will abscond and not stand trial, as there is no fixed address of where they reside.
The group were allegedly found in possession of US$150 190 (N$2 162 736), €6 250 (N$1 001 11.05) and N$4 083 in their possession.
In total, the accused were found with N$2 262 847.05.
During the group’s failed bail application, the investigating officer Detective Sergeant Erwin Serogwe said the accused failed to declare the amount of money in their possession, which the police believes is from illegal activities.
According to Serongwe, Combua and her co-accused almost got away if it was not for Combua who triggered the scanners with her metal hair clipper.
This allegedly forced the immigration officers to conduct a thorough search to determine what had caused the scanners to go off.
That is when they discovered the money.
Pintal and Antunes got caught when they went looking for Combua.
The group had allegedly hidden the money in their brassieres, disposable diapers (that they were wearing), in between shoe soles and waistbands.
More money was found in the accused’s hand bags that were hidden in their luggage.
In their defence, they claimed the money is from their different businesses and they had the money as they were on their way to China to buy merchandise for their different businesses in located in Angola.