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  1. User-126494
    Alleged mastermind seeks money to fight extradition

    A suspected mastermind of a California drugs and money-laundering syndicate, wanted by the US, has asked a South African court to unfreeze some of his money so he can fight extradition.

    American-Israeli Meir Elran, 44, took the National Director of Public Prosecutions and the curator of his estate, Theodore van den Heever, to the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Friday after his bank accounts were frozen and the Asset Forfeiture Unit seized his property.

    He is asking the court to force them to release more than R700000 so he can pay mounting legal bills. Four years ago, the unit seized Elran's R12-million game farm in Limpopo, a R2.5-million home in Umhlanga, his Mercedes-Benz and R3-million in bank accounts.

    The state alleges that Elran, who lives in Durban and was arrested in 2004 in Johannesburg, bought his assets with money acquired illegally, and that he had failed to reveal how he got the money.

    The US government has applied for Elran's extradition so that he can be tried on charges of importing the drug ecstasy, distributing drugs and money laundering.

    But Elran claims they have the wrong man.

    US and European officials say they seized 340000 ecstasy tablets he allegedly imported, and claim he laundered $950000 (R7-million) through businesses in Los Angeles and California.

    Last year, Johannesburg High Court Judge Rose Rosenberg ordered Van den Heever to release nearly R800000 into Elran's lawyers' bank account. But the Asset Forfeiture Unit is appealing against that ruling.

    The director of prosecutions said in court papers that Elran did not disclose the full extent of his assets and cash transfers between accounts in Israel.

    Elran said the NPA and Van den Heever were stalling to stop him fighting his extradition to the US.

    The case was postponed to November 30.


    By KHETHIWE CHELEMU
    Aug 1, 2010 11:51 PM
    The Times Live


    http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/article580565.ece/Battle-over-drugs-money

Comments

  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Battle over 'drugs' money Alleged mastermind seeks money to fight extradition

    A suspected mastermind of a California drugs and money-laundering syndicate, wanted by the US, has asked a South African court to unfreeze some of his money so he can fight extradition.

    American-Israeli Meir Elran, 44, took the National Director of Public Prosecutions and the curator of his estate, Theodore van den Heever, to the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Friday after his bank accounts were frozen and the Asset Forfeiture Unit seized his property.

    He is asking the court to force them to release more than R700000 so he can pay mounting legal bills. Four years ago, the unit seized Elran's R12-million game farm in Limpopo, a R2.5-million home in Umhlanga, his Mercedes-Benz and R3-million in bank accounts.

    The state alleges that Elran, who lives in Durban and was arrested in 2004 in Johannesburg, bought his assets with money acquired illegally, and that he had failed to reveal how he got the money.

    The US government has applied for Elran's extradition so that he can be tried on charges of importing the drug ecstasy, distributing drugs and money laundering.

    But Elran claims they have the wrong man.

    US and European officials say they seized 340000 ecstasy tablets he allegedly imported, and claim he laundered $950000 (R7-million) through businesses in Los Angeles and California.

    Last year, Johannesburg High Court Judge Rose Rosenberg ordered Van den Heever to release nearly R800000 into Elran's lawyers' bank account. But the Asset Forfeiture Unit is appealing against that ruling.

    The director of prosecutions said in court papers that Elran did not disclose the full extent of his assets and cash transfers between accounts in Israel.

    Elran said the NPA and Van den Heever were stalling to stop him fighting his extradition to the US.

    The case was postponed to November 30.


    Aug 1, 2010 11:51 PM
    By KHETHIWE CHELEMU

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/article580565.ece/Battle-over-drugs-money
  2. Terrapinzflyer
    Ecstasy extradition hits wall

    Court postpones appeal on release of cash for defence

    There seems to be no end in sight in the legal battle between US-Israeli businessman Meir Elran, an alleged ecstasy syndicate mastermind fighting his extradition to the US, and the national director of public prosecutions.


    The Johannesburg High Court yesterday postponed indefinitely an appeal by the National Prosecuting Authority against a 2009 ruling compelling it and the curator of his estate, Theodore van der Heever, to release nearly R800000 so that Elran can pay his mounting legal fees.

    Four years ago, the Assets Forfeiture Unit seized Elran's R12-million Limpopo game farm, a R2.5-million Umhlanga home, his luxury car and R3-million in the bank.

    His extradition hearing began in the Randburg Magistrate's Court, but took a turn when he approached the Johannesburg High Court to force the unit and Van der Heever to release the money.

    The court ruled in his favour in 2009, with Judge Rose Rosenberg ordering R800000 to be paid into the bank account of Elran's lawyers.

    But the NPA appealed against this order, saying the multimillionnaire businessman, now a Durban resident, failed to disclose the full extent of his assets and cash transfers between Israeli accounts.

    The state also said that Elran bought his assets with money acquired illegally and failed to reveal how he got the money.

    NPA counsel Feroze Latif submitted yesterday that the NPA filed heads of arguments on January 17 and Elran' s attorneys indicated only last Thursday they could not proceed with the case as they had not received the documents.

    Elran's counsel, Nigel Redman, said he agreed with Latif's submission.

    The case was postponed indefinitely and a ruling on costs was reserved.

    The US government has applied for Elran's extradition so that he can be tried on charges of importing the drug ecstasy, distributing drugs and money laundering.

    But Elran claims that US officials are looking for the wrong man.

    US and European officials say they seized 340000 ecstasy tablets he allegedly imported and claim he laundered $950000 through businesses in Los Angeles and other California cities.


    Feb 14, 2011 10:46 PM
    By KHETHIWE CHELEMU
    http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/article913875.ece/Ecstasy-extradition-hits-wall
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