Student caught at airport with over R9m fails to appear in court, warrant of arrest issued
11 October 2018
A warrant for immediate arrest has been issued for a 22-year-old student who was nabbed while trying to leave South Africa with cash worth over R9m in US dollars.
Farooz Salem failed to make an appearance at the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Thursday where she was meant to plead and also reveal to the court where she got the cash from.
Advocate Ori Moloi, for Salem, told Magistrate V Krishna that he had been informed his client was not feeling well.
Moloi said he would consult further with Salem.
However, the State argued that there was no form of documentation proving that Salem was sick and stated that a warrant of arrest be issued.
Salem was found with US notes wrapped in a black plastic bag in her luggage as she was about to board a flight to Hong Kong at the OR Tambo International Airport on September 11.
Bail might be forfeited
She was stopped by officials from the South African Revenue Service and was taken to the customs area where her luggage was searched. Upon searching, officials found $630 700 (R9m) on her.
Salem claimed that the money did not belong to her but when asked who it belonged to, she could not reveal the owner of the cash.
She was then arrested and received bail of R20 000 after appearing in court.
Salem faces charges of contravening the Customs and Excise Act, as well as the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.
The case has been postponed to October 25 when Salem is expected to learn if she will forfeit her bail.