SAPS seize R18m assets, more suspects arrested in drugs haul case

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

The South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Western Cape has seized assets valued at over R18 million owned by suspects linked to a R400 million drugs haul case in June 2021.

This comes as a further eight suspects on Tuesday appeared in the Bellville Magistrates Court on preliminary charges of dealing in drugs.  

The eight are David Michael Banister (52), Allister William Jackson (33), Marinus van Niekerk (31), Jacobus Hendrik Slabbert (41), Mario Mark Joseph (44), John Frederieck Roodman (47), Andre Welgemoed (44) and Anthony Trevor Tarrs (42).

Their case was postponed to 8 November 2022, where they will appear in the Pretoria Magistrates Court for formal bail application.

Hawks spokesperson, Colonel Katlego Mogale, said: “Their case is part of an ongoing investigation into the proliferarion of drugs in the country. Previously, assets including a bakkie, trailer, three boats with a combined value of more than R18.6 million, together with drugs with an estimated value of R400 million and cash seized on the N1 highway, were finally forfeited to the state by the Gauteng and Western Cape High courts respectively.”

Niel Pieter Van Zyl (40) was also arrested on 2 June 2021 while driving a bakkie pulling a trailer carrying a consignment of drugs, 805 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside the hull of the ski-boat on the N1 highway in Pretoria.

Eight more suspects, including Rafiek Baderoen (45), Rashied Baderoen (49), Michael Norman (39), Tenikaitis Valdas (58), Jaco de Kock (49), Izak Strydom (46) and Hugh Stam (48) were arrested.

Mogale said the suspects were identified as the members of an international drug trafficking syndicate, allegedly involved in the smuggling cocaine between South Africa and Brazil.

“They are expected to be back in court on 6 December 2022. These arrests and seizures which dismantled an international drug cartel stems from an extensive collaborative project driven investigation by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” she said.

Israeli national, Ahmed Isa, also known as Mickey, along with two Lithuanian nationals, Donates Jukna and Jonas Zulpa are still at large.

Mogale said more arrests and seizures of property used in cocaine smuggling are imminent. –