The second phase of “Ops RR” was executed on 8th March 2018 for a further search of the Defendants’ house.
When the investigators arrived at the house, the Defendants refused to open the gate and did not want to follow the instructions to cooperate with the investigations. During cross-examination of a witness, Simon Farell QC questioned why another search had to be conducted when one has been conducted earlier. The witness answered that due to the volume of the items believed to be derived from criminal acts, the instructions were not to seize yet at that point in time. The Defence counsel suggested that the Defendants denied the ACB officers because they were concerned on whether the ACB had powers to conduct a further search. They needed to seek legal advice.
A defence counsel who was representing the Defendants at the time had to intervene and the ACB officers were eventually allowed to enter the house. A thorough search and seizure of the house was conducted.
The search teams seized over 300 items consisting of luxury brand items such as Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Cartier, Bulgari, Chanel, Breitling, Mont Blanc, Christian Dior and Christian Louboutin. The cars earmarked to be seized were taken away from the Defendants’ possession in March 2018. On 8th March 2018, six cars were seized from their house and they were left with a Volkswagen Golf A7 for their daily use. A further five cars were seized from the First Defendant’s parents’ house on the same day.
Subsequently, a Mercedes Benz AMG GT RHD and also a Mercedes Benz AMG GT S were seized from the Jati Transport Servicing Area in Beribi, and a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS from QAF Eurokars.
On the 19th of March 2018, the ACB officers seized a Chrysler belonging to the Second Defendant which was parked at the Empire Hotel and Country Club basement car park. The key to the car was given to the ACB by the Defendants’ defence counsel at the time.
A car which was left with the Defendants for their daily use were also seized by 20th March 2018.
As part of the investigations, the ACB served a Statutory Declaration to the Defendants for them to declare their assets and liabilities and income for the period of first employment until the document was completed and submitted to the investigators. The completed documents were submitted on the 21st of May 2018.
An officer assigned as a photographer of this case testified in Court. A number of photographs recording the search and seizure in January 2018 were produced in Court. Justice Gareth Lugar-Mawson is considering whether he should physically view the cars and handbags or rely on the photographs. The trial will continue again today, 8th of October 2019 at 9 in the morning to hear more evidence of more witnesses from ACB.
Source: Radio Television Brunei