EXCLUSIVE: 'Underworld' security man arrested for alleged cocaine dealing

2017-06-19 15:56
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Cape Town - A key figure in the nightclub security industry has been arrested after about 22 packets of cocaine were found in a vehicle he was driving in the city centre on Sunday.

Jacques Cronje, who was previously involved in an illegally operating bouncer company, and who has had run-ins with the law before, appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Bruce Hendricks, of Hassen-Harmse Attorneys, represented Cronje.

He said his client had no previous convictions or outstanding warrants.

The State requested a full bail profile on Cronje.

Cronje had a sombre expression when he took to the dock during his brief appearance.

He is facing a drug dealing charge.

The case was postponed and Cronje was to remain in custody.

News24 understands that Cronje had been with another underworld figure, who is from the Ukraine and also involved in the nightclub security industry, before the drugs were found.

He had been dropping off colleagues, understood to be club doormen.

Club security battle

Cronje's arrest comes as an underworld battle related to the club security industry is becoming even more volatile in the Western Cape.

A newer underworld faction, said to be headed by businessman Nafiz Modack, has been taking over security at nightclubs from an older underworld faction.

Several shootings have been linked to the tussle for power - at least three people have been shot in Cape Town establishments since April.

Several killings have also been linked to it, with sources saying a triple murder in Bishop Lavis on Saturday was linked to underworld ructions, as an alleged 28s gang boss wanted to sell drugs in the city centre.

The club security matter is understood to be linked to the drug trade, in that some establishments are viewed as crucial turf from which to peddle drugs

A source with links to the new faction has insisted to News24 that they are trying to rid the city centre of drugs.

An informant, who goes by the name Mr Wick and has links to the new underworld faction, last week told News24 he had tipped police off about a major heroin smuggling operation allegedly run by members of the older faction.

Heroin bust

Last Monday on June 12, R104m worth of heroin was discovered concealed under a vehicle at the Kosi Bay port of entry.

Three suspects were arrested.

Mr Wick told News24 that the information he supplied had led to this.

The arrest of Cronje, who is affiliated to Modack, therefore flies in the face of what the new faction purportedly stands.

Cronje has previously been in hot water for activities relating to the underworld.

In April, police confiscated firearms from Cronje and several other men who had gathered outside a popular city centre strip club.

In a notice of motion filed in the Western Cape High Court in May, relating to the seized weapons, Mark Visser of Eagle VIP Security said he and Cronje, an employee, had been there on the night of April 21 to provide protection to private clients, who he did not name.

Cronje, according to an affidavit, had a Canik 55 9mm parabellum, licenced to Eagle VIP Security, concealed on his wrist.

Weapons found

The firearms - three shotguns, three Taurus pistols, a 9mm Browning and two 9mm Caniks - were tested for links to a shooting in which two men were wounded in Café Caprice on April 17 before being returned to the men.

Cronje has been involved in club security for years.

Years ago, underworld kingpin Cyril Beeka, who was killed in 2011, ran the company Pro Security along with Cronje.

Cronje was also involved in the bouncer company Specialised Protection Services, which was run by, among others, controversial businessmen Andre Naude and Mark Lifman.

But it was soon shut down as it was not registered with Psira.

Cronje later fell out with his SPS associates as he faced allegations of misappropriating company money, assault, and missing meetings.

In 2012, Cronje was arrested on an intimidation charge in a case registered in Sea Point.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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