Six in leisure boat drug case denied bail |17 November 2021
- ‘The seriousness of the offence appears to be unprecedented’
The six Seychellois men arrested and facing charges in connection with a significant drug seizure onboard two leisure boats earlier this month are to remain in custody for a further 14 days, until November 29 when they will re-appear in court.
The accused appeared in court yesterday afternoon, whereby Chief Justice Rony Govinden made the order, detailing the various reasons for denying the applicants bail.
It must be noted that the accused are being represented by different legal counsels, all of whom proposed different reasons as to why their clients’ bail applications be considered by court.
CJ Govinden noted that the prosecution has presented to court enough evidence as to why they should not be granted bail, and the various points raised. Prosecution proposed that two of the accused are ‘flight risks’, based on the premise that they allegedly tried to flee the scene of the commission of the crime, while the other two allegedly tried to destroy evidence at the scene.
Two of the accused are also able seamen, which prosecution also said could pose a risk, if they were to abscond and evade justice.
With regard to a sixth accused who was arrested last Saturday, Counsel had filed for bail based on the argument that his rights were not upheld as he was not produced in court within 24 hours of his arrest.
Considering that prosecution had filed an application with court at its earliest availability on Monday November 15, CJ Govinden said he found no merit in the application.
The sixth accused is alleged to have been transporting fuel, an act which supports the commission of the act.
As was announced on Monday, a Seychellois man reported missing since November 7, and who was found onboard a foreign dhow, is somehow linked to the case, aggravating matter for the first five accused, CJ Govinden added.
The man, a key person of interest who was allegedly human trafficked by the six accused, is yet to be questioned by local authorities, a further reason for CJ Govinden to deny bail, and eliminate any possibilities of interference.
“The seriousness of the offence appears unprecedented,” CJ Govinden stated, alluding to the ‘sophistication and organisation’ in the commission of the act.
He also proposed that the offences the six are accused and being investigated of include not only drug-trafficking charges, but also along the lines of organised transnational crime.