Lawyer im­pli­cated in il­le­gal abalone syn­di­cate

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

set up to buy a farm in Tul­bagh, which was to be used as an abalone pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity.

The de­tails of the pur­chase of the farm were con­tained in an af­fi­davit by se­nior fi­nan­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tor Jo­hannes Jou­bert.

It re­vealed that Siem Bas­son first got to know Broad­way in 2007 when he sought le­gal ad­vice for charges brought against him.

In 2010, Broad­way told him about clients who were in­volved in the abalone in­dus­try and in­ter­ested in buy­ing a farm.

The clients were, how­ever, un­will­ing to regis­ter the farm in their own name be­cause there was a risk they would be caught.

“He was not di­rectly in­formed il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties would be oc­cur­ring on the farm, but this could indi­rectly be as­sumed,” Jou­bert said.

Broad­way told Bas­son the farm would be reg­is­tered in the name of close cor­pora- tion Agenda Search Trade and that, if Bas­son was will­ing, he would be the sole mem­ber of the CC. The funds would come from China, and had al­ready been cleared by the Re­serve Bank.

Bas­son agreed, and re­ceived R50 000.

Jou­bert said Bas­son vis­ited the farm only twice, along with Broad­way, and was not aware of the ex­is­tence of an Absa bank ac­count in the CC’s name.

In May 2013, when a po­lice of­fi­cer asked ques­tions about the farm, Broad­way ad­vised Bas­son to say he would pro­vide an af­fi­davit from his at­tor­ney. How­ever, when he eventu- ally re­ceived the af­fi­davit, he no­ticed it con­tained lies and re­fused to sign it. In­stead, he of­fered to co-op­er­ate with the po­lice and AFU.

Jou­bert said Bas­son and the farm were linked to “a num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als” in­volved in the il­le­gal har­vest­ing of abalone.

Broad­way has been charged along with al­leged Gans­baai poach­ing king­pin Frank Barends and sev­eral co-ac­cused for abalone-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.


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