23-year old student, Fayrooz Saleh, who was caught with US dollars amounting to R9m at OR Tambo International Airport, was sentenced to a fine of R200 000 – or 24-months imprisonment.
The accused was arrested in September of last year for smuggling the money in her luggage on her way to Hong Kong.
According to her plea deal, the money belonged to her long-time friend.
“The accused had travelled to Hong Kong after a long-time friend of hers, Mr Faisal Jamal, had asked that she should assist him to purchase goods,” the plea agreement read.
“The goods she was to buy were listed as “PlayStations, game consoles, iPhones, laptops, iPads, notebooks, desktops, cellphones, jewellery, clothes and accessories.
“The accused was only advised after her arrest and release from custody by Mr Jamal that the money that was in her possession belonged to a businessman called Mr Ravichandren Dhurgasamy.”
However, South African Revenue Services (Sars) said that she had initially denied being in possession of the $630 700, but it was found when her luggage was searched.
This led to the state to argue that she had intentionally failed to declare the cash.
Saleh escaped jail time after her lawyers accepted an agreement of a R200 000 fine.