A group of Angolan women who were caught with more than N$2.2 million at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) late last year are scheduled to tender their preliminary plea on Friday.
The accused, Maria Combua (46) Helena Samba Pintal (35) and Beatriz Antunes (47) all made an appearance in court before magistrate Davy Kambinda.
During their appearance from police custody, the accused were informed that investigations into their case have been completed.
“The matter is on the court roll for further investigations. Investigations are now complete and may the matter be remanded to a later date for a section 119 plea,” said state prosecutor Edel Upindi.
Magistrate Kambinda gave a remand date of 13 March.
The group was arrested in December at the airport with unexplained large sums of money.
They are facing two charges of unlawful export of currency and disguising unlawful origin of a property, charges they have pleaded not guilty to.
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.
Combua and her co-accused were allegedly found in possession of US$150 190 (N$2 162 736), € 6250 (N$1 001 11.05) and N$4 083 in their possession. In total, the accused were found with N$2 262 847.05.
According to the investigating officer Detective Sargent Erwin Serogwe, 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 searching for Combua.
The group could allegedly not provide the police with proper papers that would indicate the money indeed belongs to them or they are permitted to carry large sums of money out of Angola. The police, however, are yet to determine the destination of the money.
Consequently, the prosecution is now charging the group two charges of unlawful export of currency and disguising unlawful origin of a property, charges they have pleaded not guilty to occurring their failed bail application.