Pubdate: Fri, 22 Oct 2004
Source: Cape Argus (South Africa)
Copyright: 2004 Cape Argus.


One of the Western Cape's top crime bosses, his right-hand man and a
former police officer are on the run after they evaded a dragnet in
which eight of their associates were arrested early today.

The head of the syndicate is allegedly the leader of the notorious 28s

Warrants for the arrests of the three "big fish" have been issued.
Police are confident they will be arrested later today.

Authorities believe the arrests of the alleged syndicate members will
signal the beginning of the end for one of the province's most
powerful crime syndicates.

The suspects were expected to be charged under the Prevention of
Organised Crime Act for Murder, racketeering, drug smuggling, robbery
and abalone poaching and smuggling.

Last night, members of the province's "High Flyers" project -
including police commissioner Mzwandile Petros, the Scorpions, the
National Intelligence Agency, officials from the office of the
provincial director of public prosecutions and the Assets Forfeiture
Unit - descended on homes across Cape Town and arrested the nine
suspected syndicate members.

The syndicate leader is also allegedly a major drug supplier to other
crime bosses across South Africa. Police believe he has links with the
Chinese triads.

It has taken the various criminal justice clusters more than a year to
investigate the syndicate.

The arrests coincided with an asset seizure order granted by the Cape
High Court yesterday for authorities to seize 15 properties, 35
vehicles and eight long-distance trucks.

These belonged to Quinton Marinus and his relatives, including his
wife Davidene Chantal Marinus, his cousin Calvyn Marinus and his wife
Emmalene Marinus, Quinton Marinus's sister Desiree Blankenberg, her
ex-husband Jeffrey James Blankenberg, another cousin, Mario Voigt, a
business and eight other people.

They are are Brian Daniels, Fareed Mohammed, Fabian Abrahams, Glestin
Ricardo Petersen, Winston Anthony Blaauw, Johan Classen, Vincent Koen
and Andrew van der Walt. The business is Excursion Transport CC.

The value of the assets seized, after liabilities, is almost R8m, but
authorities believe it will eventually be several million rand more as
the value of the fixed properties, for example, were estimated at
municipal and not market value.

Of the total, the fixed property, such as the houses, were worth about
R6.25m, and the vehicles and boats R3.2m.

The properties and assets seized included a mansion in upmarket
Plattekloof; homes in Milnerton, Brackenfell, Macassar,
Matroosfontein, Belhar, Parow, Elsies River, Kuils River, Hawston,
Delft, Glenhaven and Durbanville; a catamaran, Sea Echo, moored at the
Royal Cape Yacht Club; a black BMW X5; a BMW 330iM; VW Jetta VR6 Exec;
and five 2003 Toyota Hi-Aces.

Other assets included 48 000 shares in two companies, four life
insurance policies, a clothing concern which sells hospital uniforms,
a Hugo Boss watch, a Raymond Weil watch, sound equipment, cash and

The State also got permission to freeze 18 bank accounts (which
include savings, cheque and credit card accounts) which are held in
the names of Marinus, his relatives and some of his associates.

Community Safety MEC Leonard Ramatlakane said the arrests were the
culmination of "thousands and thousands" of hours of work by

"This project, led by police investigations, begins to show that law
enforcement agencies are supporting and relying on each other to
complement investigations from inception to judgment in courts.

"The drive to stop gangs and drugs in our communities is being driven
from station level and within our lower courts.

"The joint efforts in making these arrests possible is the result of
months of collective planning and the sharing of information by the
law enforcement agency heads in the province."

The High Flyers project, aimed at taking down the criminal
underworld's bosses and their networks, is described as an established
institutional arrangement.

It has been in operation in the Western Cape over the past 12 months
and has become a stated priority of premier Ebrahim Rasool.

Ramatlakane said crime fighting agencies had responded to a call by
President Thabo Mbeki to work together to arrest and convict 200 of
SA's top crime bosses.

"The intention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act laws is to
root out organised crime, not only by arresting one or two
individuals, but by bringing down entire syndicates," he said.

The suspects are expected to appear in court on Monday.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin