State suspects cash came from gambling joint: Panayiotou Trial

LAURIKA BOOI Picture: EUGENE COETZEE
LAURIKA BOOI
Picture: EUGENE COETZEE

A gambling joint which allegedly fronted as an internet cafe is possibly where Christopher Panayiotou got the R80 000 needed to pay the suspected hitmen, the state will allege.

Employee Laurika Booi said her boss registered his Inet Lounge in the Cotswold shopping centre complex in her name.

All business dealings were done in cash and either Panayiotou or his friend, Donovan Vosloo, would collect the proceeds every week.

Booi told the Port Elizabeth High Court yesterday that Inet was an internet cafe, but that gambling also took place there. She said the business did not make a lot of money.

An objection from defence advocate Terry Price SC, that his client was not on trial for fraud or illegal gambling, prompted state advocate Marius Stander to reveal that Inet was one of the possible places Panayiotou allegedly obtained the cash to pay middleman Luthando Siyoni and alleged hitmen Sizwezakhe Vumazonke and Sinethemba Nemembe.

“It is the state’s case that [Panayiotou] paid R80 000 to have his wife killed,” Stander said.

“We do not know where the money came from so we are looking at Inet as a possible source.”

Leave a Reply