SA student found with R9m stuffed in luggage back in court

13 November 2018 - 08:31
By Iavan Pijoos
Student Fayrooz Saleh.
Image: SUPPLIED/Facebook Student Fayrooz Saleh.

The South African student accused of trying to smuggle US dollars worth around R9-million in her luggage is expected to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

At a previous sitting in October‚ Fayrooz Saleh appeared in court dressed in a black hijab‚ with only her eyes visible.

This was the first time the student appeared in a hijab. Her lawyer‚ Ori Moloi‚ later confirmed on record that it was indeed Saleh before court.

Saleh had been appearing in court in a bid to have her warrant of arrest withdrawn. The warrant was issued after she failed to appear in court on October 11. Magistrate Veena Krishna cancelled her warrant of arrest after she handed in a doctor's certificate to the court‚ proving that she had missed the last proceedings because she was ill.

She was initially arrested at the OR Tambo International Airport on September 11 as she was about to depart for Hong Kong.

According to court documents‚ she was stopped by SA Revenue Service officials‚ who opened her luggage in her presence and found $630‚700 in cash (about R9-million). When questioned‚ Saleh said she was heading to Hong Kong to buy goods.

Saleh appeared in court shortly after her arrest and was granted bail of R20‚000.

Following her arrest‚ Sars said in a statement that she initially denied having the currency in her possession‚ but when questioned further‚ she admitted to having a substantial sum of money in her backpack.

"She admitted that she was not the owner of the currency‚ nor could she provide any proof of ownership‚" Sars said at the time.

The 22-year-old‚ believed to be from Ennerdale‚ in the south of Johannesburg‚ also faces a charge suggesting the cash may be the proceeds of a crime.

The state alleged that she took the money knowing it was obtained unlawfully. She has no previous convictions or pending bail matters.