Police ordered to return  seized building  material

Police ordered to return seized building material

MASERU-THE High Court has ordered the Commissioner of Police to release building material worth M750 000 which was seized by the police in 2011.
It has also ordered the police to pay Tlohelang Moiloa M200 000 in compensation for loss of business.

Nine years after his building material was impounded by the police, Moiloa finally received compensation after a bruising battle in the courts of law.
High Court judge, Justice Molefi Makara gave the order on Monday.
In his founding affidavit, Moiloa, from Masowe in Maseru, said around November 18, 2011 his property was seized by police officers led by one Inspector Mafatle.

“The property was going to be used to construct business duplexes for rental,” Moiloa told the court.
“When I lodged a complaint with the Police Complaints and Discipline section on the 24th November 2011, I was requested to furnish all the copies of the receipts,” he said.

At the time, Moiloa said the total value of the receipts stood at more than M380 000 but had now ballooned to M750 000.
Moiloa told thepost this week that the police from the Fraud Section arrived at his home on November 18, 2011 in a 4 x 4 vehicle and ordered him to open his storeroom.
They then confiscated all his building material worth thousands of maloti together with the receipts.

“My neighbour witnessed (all this) when my property was loaded into three trucks and they left,” Moiloa said.
He said the police officers who were in a belligerent mood were in the company of one soldier. When he asked them to take an inventory of the confiscated materials, the police refused.

He said he later learnt that the soldier had been deployed at the police station to assist the police with some investigations regarding crimes allegedly committed by his fellow colleagues.
Moiloa said the police also rejected his plea to go with them since they were taking away his property.

He said they refused when he asked them to count his property saying it was too much.
“I went to the police several times where I was informed that they were busy and therefore could not meet me,” he said.
What stunned him was that his property never reached any police premises.

Moiloa said he was worried why he could not be charged for any offence in relation to the said property if he had indeed acquired it through fraudulent means.
He was never charged for the alleged offence.
In March 2012, he went to the police to request his property back but he was unlawfully arrested and detained at Maseru Central Police Station for six days without any charge being brought against him.

Moiloa said he will never forget how the police arrived at his home and cuffed his hands at the back.
It was in the middle of the night.
“They handcuffed me and one of them hit me with a fist. I bled profusely,” he said.

“I asked them why they were attacking me over my property,” he said.
To his surprise, there was no LMPS 12 form that showed that his property was recorded at the police.
He was told that the docket for the case was lost and he re-opened the case.

Majara Molupe

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