By Goitsemang Tlhabye 1h ago
Pretoria – The South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau within the Hawks has urged anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of three additional suspects linked to the R400 million cocaine bust to come forward.
The plea follows the appearance of a sixth suspect, Jaco de Kock, 48, in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court in connection with the drug bust in June.
Police discovered 809kg of cocaine in the hull of a boat on the N1 Highway. De Kock’s formal bail application was postponed.
He will appear with his co-accused, Niel Peter van Zyl, 39, Rafiek Baderoen, 44, Rashied Baderoen, 48, Tenikaitis Valdas, 57, and Michael Norman, 38, some of whom were arrested in Cape Town.
All six accused will return to the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on August 23, 24, and 25 for a formal bail application.
De Kock was arrested in the Strand, Cape Town, on August 13, following investigations by the team which had put surveillance on him.
Law enforcement agencies traced him to a warehouse in Asla Park, which was identified as a storage facility used by the syndicate.
Two additional boats were also discovered on the premises, of which one was being modified with concealed compartments, with the same Garden Master bags that were used to conceal the cocaine in the Lyttleton case.
The remarkable bust took place after Van Zyl was arrested on the N1 north, near the R21 flying saucer interchange, on June 2, by a multi-disciplinary team comprising of the SA Narcotic Enforcement Bureau head office, Pretoria Serious Organised Crime, Tactical Operations Management Section of the Hawks with the assistance of Crime Intelligence Unit head office.
The cocaine was reportedly destined for both local and international markets, organised by a drug syndicate operating in the country allegedly stockpiling large quantities of cocaine in Gauteng.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase said the additional suspects were linked through further investigations into a drug consignment, and warrants of arrest were executed by the Western Cape Hawks narcotics team.
Nkwalase said the matter was in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court because the crime against the group regarding the large consignment of drugs was committed along the N1 in Tshwane metropolis.
In the meantime, he said the police were urging anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of three other suspects still at large – Israeli national Ahmed Isa, also known as Mickey, two Lithuanian nationals Donates Jukna and Jonas Zulpa – to come forward.
The information can be reported to the Investigating officer Warrant Officer Brittion on 082 778 2815 or section head Brigadier Naicker on 082 778 2818.