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Suspects in alleged money-laundering case charged |26 May 2023


● Ruling in application for remand will be presented next Tuesday


The Supreme Court yesterday made an interim order for two men charged with alleged money-laundering, to be remanded until next Tuesday afternoon, when the court will give its ruling on whether to remand them as per the prosecution’s application or release them on bail.

They were initially suspects since their arrest over a month ago and the initial applications for them to be held while the police conduct their investigation expired yesterday. Their case was set aside by judge Brassel Adeline, prior to them being summoned before judge David Esparon.

And yesterday, judge Esparon gave the interim order after hearing both sides argue for and against remand after the two were summoned by the prosecution.

In his argument for remand, prosecutor George Thatchett argued that the two suspects had committed a serious offence, and would abscond if they were to be set free, interfere with other witnesses or tip off the others as they were part of a larger group. The first suspect has been charged with 82 counts while the second suspect has four counts against him.

In his response, their counsel, Basil Hoareau, claimed the prosecution’s case was misleading and the prosecution was requesting remand as a form of punishment, which was “an abuse of the court’s process”, therefore denying his clients their right to liberty, while they try to build their case.

He claimed the prosecution had made vague statements in the affidavit, refraining from giving details about some averments made which could not be substantiated with facts.  He requested bail with conditions, stating the grounds set out were vague. Mr Hoareau also claimed that his clients had no intention of tipping off anyone as the case was already public knowledge as it was receiving media coverage. He also stated that there was already an interim order from the court to freeze his clients’ properties and assets, and a receiver has been appointed denying them any access to anything if they were to be released on bail.

Prior to arguing against the application for remand, counsel Hoareau called the investigating police officer into the box to clarify some points in the affidavit, namely a statement made by suspect number one with regard to access to his laptops, where he had requested that this should be done in his presence and that of his lawyer and which had not been included in the affidavit.

He also questioned how far the investigation had reached and the amount of documents analysed so far and how long it would take the investigating team to go through the document, to which the police officer could not confirm.

The alleged money-laundering case has nine accused, namely the two main suspects, a third accused who is a female, related to suspect number two and a fourth accused, a man linked to suspect number one. Suspects three and four have two charges and one count against them respectively. They were both released on bail yesterday subject to certain conditions, where they have to surrender their passports, and not travel outside Seychelles’ jurisdiction, as well as report to their nearest police station every Friday.

The other accused in the case are companies owned by the first suspect.

The two main suspects will now appear before court on Tuesday next week at 1.45pm, to hear the court’s ruling on the Application for remand.


Patsy Canaya




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