Lawyer among accused for allegedly operating an illicit abalone enterprise

Abalone Source: Google Images

A City attorney is accused, with 13 other people, of allegedly operating an illicit abalone enterprise. The attorney is facing charges of money laundering amounting to millions of rand.

The matter involving Anthony Broadway, who practised under the name of Broadway & Associates, was set down for on on Monday in the Western Cape High Court.

However, the matter was postponed by Judge Siraj Desai to Monday. Some members of the accused group have already entered plea bargains with the state and charges against Broadway emanate from this abalone syndicate.

The state alleges that from October 2006 to August 2013, the group formed an enterprise as defined in Section 1 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and participated in racketeering.

They faced 424 charges of racketeering and money laundering.

The man at the top of the criminal enterprise was Michael Norman and David Bannister. According to papers, Norman was the leading figure in the enterprise who supplied large amounts of money that was used to pay various poaching, diving groups and salaries to people renting premises used for the processing and drying of abalone.

It is also alleged that the pair during 2009 and 2010 established and created two trusts, namely Immigrants Trust and Fishermans Assistance Trust. Substantial amounts of cash was allegedly deposited into the trust bank accounts whereupon property was bought. It is the state’s case that these deposits were the proceeds of crime.

“Broadway began appearing as a defence attorney for various members and employees of the enterprise during 2010. He also assisted Norman and Bannister in various aspects of their financial affairs inter alia creating two trusts with them, becoming co-trustee with signatory powers.

“He received various sums in cash from members and or employees or associates of the enterprise as fees and for other purposes while he was associated with the enterprise. He was at all relevant times aware that the particular members and or employees or associates concerned did not have any legitimate income to justify the amounts of money involved,” the state claims.

In December last year, Norman, Bannister and another member of the syndicate, Rasheed Baderoen, entered into a plea bargain and sentencing agreement with the state.