Forged pass­port lands Kenyan in hot wa­ter

Lesotho Times - - News - Keiso Mohloboli

A KENYAN, who is in cus­tody for al­legedly forg­ing a Le­sotho pass­port, ap­peared be­fore the Maseru Mag­is­trate’s Court on Mon­day seek­ing bail. Luiz Rih­mat Alvez (22) was re­manded on Wed­nes­day last week twith his co-ac­cused stephen Makhetha. the Le­sotho Times un­der­stands Mr Alvez was de­ported from Namibia to south Africa and then sent to Le­sotho af­ter be­ing found in pos­ses­sion of Kenyan, Rwan­dan and Le­sotho pass­ports.

Ac­cord­ing to the charge sheet, Mr Alvez of old town in Kenya con­tra­vened sec­tion 15 (e) of the Le­sotho Pass­ports and travel Doc­u­ment Act No 15 of 1998.

Reads the charge sheet: “In that upon or about the 21st day of oc­to­ber 2015, and at or near Moshoeshoe I Air­port, in the dis­trict of Maseru, the said ac­cused did un­law­fully and in­ten­tion­ally have or found in his pos­ses­sion, a forged, al­tered or de­faced reg­u­lar pass­port to wit: Pass­port No. RB 330532 thus con­tra­vene (sic) the pro­vi­sions of the afore­said Act.”

Mr Makhetha (41), from ha-molenoane vil­lage, is charged with con­tra­ven­ing sec­tions of the Preven­tion of Cor­rup­tion and eco­nomic of­fences Act.

his charge sheet reads: “In that upon or about the year of 2013 at or near Ma­put­soe in the dis­trict of Leribe, the said ac­cused be­ing a pub­lic of­fi­cer, ca­su­alty at Im­mi­gra­tion Of­fice Berea in re­la­tion to his du­ties of of­fice wrong­fully, un­law­fully and in­ten­tion­ally di­rectly agrees or of­fers to per­mit his pub­lic con­duct as a pub­lic of­fi­cer to be in­flu­enced by prom­ise or prospect to wit: by re­ceiv­ing the sum of M4 000 from Retha­bile Mokone as prom­ise to give in re­turn a pass­port writ­ten in the names Luiz Rih­mat Alvez of RB 330532 and did of­fer such pass­port and duly re­ceived by the said Luiz Rih­mat Alvez thus con­tra­vened (sic) the provi- sion of the afore­said Act.”

the de­fen­dants’ lawyer, Ad­vo­cate Christo­pher Le­phuthing, ap­pealed for his clients’ re­lease on bail, ar­gu­ing Mr Alvez was a first-year stu­dent at the Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg and could not af­ford a high bail de­posit.

“I pray that he be or­dered (to pay) M500 as bail de­posit and other nor­mal bail con­di­tions. I also pray that his con­di­tions to at­tend re­mands be stretched to meet (sic) his sit­u­a­tion as a stu­dent,” Ad­vo­cate Le­phuthing told Mag­is­trate ‘Mamoro­jele Qoo.

on Mr Makhetha’s part, the so­lic­i­tor ar­gued he is a fam­ily man work­ing for a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment.

“he earns lit­tle as he is a mere mes­sen­ger. (May) his bail de­posit, we pray, be fixed at M500 as well as other nor­mal bail con­di­tions,” said Ad­vo­cate Le­phuthing.

how­ever, Pros­e­cu­tor Lehlo­honolo Phooko ar­gued Mr Alvez was a flight-risk since he had al­ready been de­ported from Namibia, and brought to Le­sotho from south Africa.

“. . . (Mr Alvez’s) ap­pli­ca­tion is op­posed be­cause one of the con­di­tions for bail is for the ac­cused to stand trial to fi­nal­ity, and we fear that Mr Alvez will ab­scond,” Mr Phooko said.

“…the rea­son be­ing he was de­ported from Namibia to the Re­pub­lic of south Africa and back to Le­sotho due to the al­leged forged pass­port. And there is a pos­si­bil­ity that he might forge an­other one and es­cape. he is a Kenyan, and should he be granted bail, we pray that strin­gent con­di­tions be at­tached, that is, M20 000 surety and a bail de­posit of M2 500.

“As re­gards Mr Makhetha, we have no prob­lem but only ask the court to con­sider the se­ri­ous­ness of the of­fence he is charged with. We pray that this court or­ders bail de­posit to be M2 500.”

Judge­ment in the case will be handed down to­day.

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