Police have arrested three more people in connection with the discovery of 800kg of compressed cocaine worth R400 million in a 12-foot ski boat on the N1 near Centurion earlier this month.
The Hawks said in a statement that Rafiek Baderoen, 44, Rashied Baderoen, 48, and Michael Norman, 38, were arrested at a premises in Cape Town on 12 June after they were allegedly linked to the high-profile drug bust.
The three men briefly appeared in the Strand Magistrate’s Court on Monday and were escorted to Pretoria under heavy police guard on Friday afternoon.
There, they are expected to appear in court alongside 39-year-old Neil Pieter van Zyl who was arrested while towing the ski boat.
The Hawks said the bust was made possible by the collaborative efforts of various crime-busting elite organisations that included FBI operation Trojan Shield and Australian Federal Police operation Ironsides, as well as the Hawks’ narcotics bureau.
Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase said: “When the team arrived on their premises in Cape Town, they found several people and arrested three suspects. Upon conducting a search, the team seized several cellphones, documentation and passports belonging to the suspects for further investigation.”
Details about the allegations against the three men remain sketchy.
According to the Hawks, the cocaine found in the bust in Gauteng earlier this month belonged to a syndicate that was stockpiling large quantities of cocaine in Gauteng, and it was destined for markets locally and abroad.
National Hawks head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya welcomed the additional arrests.
“This operation proves that it is only through collaborative effort that we will win the fight against syndicated crimes,” Lebeya said.
The tree men are expected to appear alongside Van Zyl in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday.