Suspected perlemoen kingpin Morne Blignault and his alleged right-hand man were denied bail in the Paterson Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
The next move is for the prosecution to apply to have Blignault’s bail amount in his previous case – a staggering R250 000 – forfeited to the state.
The ruling means Blignault, 46, a businessman and former night club owner, and Japie Naumann, 34, have a lengthy wait behind bars before they stand trial for racketeering in the Port Elizabeth High Court in November.
Their co-accused in the current matter, Blignault’s son, Morne jnr, 26, was granted bail of R100 000 yesterday.
The three were arrested last month after a stop-and-search just outside Paterson allegedly uncovered 6 013 units of perlemoen, which was then linked to the multimillion-rand enterprise allegedly run by Blignault.
In July, Blignault and Naumann were arrested on similar charges. They were ultimately released on bail, on condition that they not commit further offences.
From fishing, transporting, cooking, packaging and then exporting the perlemoen, the state believes each accused played a specific role in the operation, which allegedly profited by millions of rands.