Case Facts: Police claimed to have ‘intelligence’ that a drug deal would take place at a certain location. The client turned up at the location in a car which he had borrowed. He passed uniformed police who were outside of their car. He stopped 10 metres past the police. They approached him. They said they could smell cannabis – although our client could not smell it. They searched the car and found some small re-sealable bags of cannabis in the centre consol. The client had $1505 in his wallet. There was no indicia of supply other than the re-sealable bags. The cannabis was contained in a larger sealed re-sealable bag and then in sealed re-sealable bags.
Case Result It is difficult to believe the police claim that they could smell cannabis since the drugs were sealed within 2 sets of plastic bags.
It is difficult to believe that our client had knowledge of the drugs since he pulled up 10 metres beyond the police car. He denied knowledge to police.
Time and time again we see people charged with goods in custody of money – we often wonder whether it is because they might have more in their wallet than the police officer. There must be suspicion attached to the goods (money) and not to the person (accused).
There was absolutely no evidence that the accused ‘dealt with proceeds of crime’. He was not even charged with drug supply.
The charges were dismissed without the need for the client to even give evidence. A costs application was made pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Act and costs were awarded. The client’s money was ordered to be returned to him.