MASERU — Two Standard Lesotho Bank employees and a Maseru businessman were arrested on December 3 for theft and possession of counterfeit money.
Raphael Mphezulu, 25, and Mareka Seipati, 26, who are both Standard Lesotho Bank employees, and Pitso Kaibe, 30, a local businessman, were last week remanded out of custody after being charged with two counts of theft and one of possessing fake money.
The trio is alleged to have been caught in possession of M133 400 in fake notes.
The Maseru Magistrate’s Court last Monday heard that they were caught red-handed by the police in Ha -Ts´osane on December 3 this year carrying the counterfeit money.
In the other count, the accused are alleged to have stolen M70 000 from an account belonging to Standard Lesotho Bank customer Ralintsi Tlaitlai.
The three also allegedly connived to steal another M110 800 from Tlaitlai’s account on December 1.
Investigating officer Trooper Mohlakola Mohlakola told the court that when the three were caught they were allegedly taking the counterfeit notes to replace the money they had stolen from Tlaitlai’s account.
The court granted them M5 000 bail each with conditions that they must not interfere with crown witnesses and police investigations.
They were also ordered to attend remand hearings and trial until the matter is finalised. The trio appears next in court on December 21.
When applying for bail for Mphezulu and Seipati, Advocate Matsoso said the accused were unlikely to abscond because they had cooperated with the police and had families to take care of.
He said they were also “financially responsible”.
Advocate Koili Ndebele, who represented Kaibe, said his client was unlikely to abscond trial because he was “married with two children and the (family’s) breadwinner”.
“He has proved to be cooperative with the police and is also a businessman,” Ndebele said.
Public prosecutor Qinumutsi Tshabalala told the court that he did not object to the trio’s bail application but said they should not be granted free bail.
As part of the bail conditions, the accused were also ordered to submit surety and provide evidence to the effect of M10 000.
The case is before magistrate Litlhare Mashape.