Suspected perlemoen kingpin Julian Brown may have to kiss R800 000 goodbye and could find himself back behind bars if an order granted against him yesterday is confirmed.
The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) obtained a preservation order from the Port Elizabeth High Court freezing the money Brown, 30, used to pay for bail in July.
It took Brown less than 48 hours to come up with R800 000 in cash to secure his release after being arrested with several others during predawn raids in July.
The AFU argued in papers in court that Brown could not have generated the R800 000 needed for bail through his construction company, J&B Construction.
The preservation order will be served on Brown within 48 hours.
There is a chance the suspected head of a multimillion-rand perlemoen syndicate will have to reapply for bail.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Tsepo Ndwalaza said the preservation order could have significant implications for the pending criminal case against Brown.
“Once the preservation order is served and his bail money is frozen, he might have to reapply for bail,” Ndwalaza said.
“This will be confirmed once the order is served and the prosecutors handling the criminal case have been notified.”
Brown could not be reached for comment.
In the court papers, the AFU stated that Brown had substantial assets but the profits from J&B Construction were not enough to sustain his lavish lifestyle.
He owns a Volkswagen Golf GTI, two Ford Ranger bakkies and a Kawasaki motorcycle, totalling R920 000.
The papers include a November 2011 picture taken from Brown’s Facebook profile which shows a rubber duck heading out to sea, with the caption “hi ho hi ho off 2 work we go”.
Another Facebook post in the papers shows a massive pile of money which is captioned “Oe la la”.
The AFU argued that these posts strengthened their case for the preservation order to be confirmed.
Once the order is executed, Brown and his legal team will have 14 days to oppose it.
Brown is facing a string of charges, with the most serious being racketeering.
He is charged under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, meaning he could face life imprisonment or a massive fine, if convicted.
The court papers also state that attorneys who accept cash payments of more than R25 000 from clients must report this to the Financial Intelligence Centre (Fica) no more than two days after receiving the money.
This is in accordance with the Fica legislation, which was introduced to fight financial crimes such as money laundering and tax evasion.
Brown’s lawyer, Danie Gouws, has not reported any such payments, according to court papers.
Gouws said yesterday they had not seen the preservation order.
“Once we have had an opportunity to study these documents we will be in a better position to respond,” he said.